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What is Lyme Disease?

Lyme disease is a bacterial infection transmitted from a tick bite. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reported that they receive approximately 30,000 cases of Lyme disease each year. However, that number is not an accurate representation of every Lyme disease case in America. Therefore, the CDC conducted two studies to improve public health.

The first project estimated that the number of people who tested positive for Lyme disease was 288,000. The second project estimated the number of people who were diagnosed with Lyme disease as 329,000. It is very important to receive a proper diagnosis and understand the severity of the disease.

Lyme disease is known as “The Great Imitator,” due to its symptoms being similar to other diseases. The bacterium affects the brain, nervous system, muscles, joints, and the heart. Sadly, many cases of Lyme disease are misdiagnosed with chronic fatigue syndrome, multiple sclerosis, depression, and more.

Lyme disease can spread to any part of the body and affects more than one body system. Symptoms include fatigue, cognitive impairment, joint pain, sleep issues, mood problems, muscle pain, and neurological troubles. Since those symptoms can be found in numerous diseases, a positive blood test or signs of joint swelling can help properly diagnose Lyme disease.

A negative blood test for Lyme disease doesn’t necessarily mean that you don’t have the disease. When utilizing the CDC’s two-tiered testing system, 56% of Lyme disease patients test negative. Once you are properly diagnosed, there are a few treatment plans. One option is an antibiotics prescription. The earlier you start a treatment plan, the better the result.

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