40 years ago, in Connecticut, a tiny tick infected with a large ticking bomb was discovered and although, the disease caused by the bite of the tick is one of the most common types of infection, in the US, it can go unreported for long stretches of time, if their symptoms are mild or atypical.
Ixodes ticks, which are infected with Lyme disease, are mostly found in the northeastern part of the US and every year, about 300,000 people are diagnosed and treated for Lyme. Most people find that their symptoms are relieved after receiving antibiotics and they are declared cured by physicians.
Unfortunately, new research shows that this is not exactly how things go for those infected with Lyme disease. This type of illness is much more complicated and complex than it was previously assessed and many of the patients who were cured of Lyme disease, still present symptoms.
Several patients reported the progression of the disease and the worsening of symptoms even after they had completed treatment for Lyme disease and they had no detectable bacteria traces left in their system.
Scientists came up with several theories to explain this phenomenon, but the studies regarding this matter are only at the beginning, so none of the ideas have been confirmed or disproven.
One of the theories is that the bacteria might trigger some other type of disease in the human system for which the medical staff is currently not offering treatment. Another theory is that the disease itself poses such great stress for the body`s immune system, that it sends it into overdrive and this ultimately results into an autoimmune disease.
Researchers from John Hopkins are mapping out an in-depth study on this aspect of Lyme disease and government officials are also becoming more concerned about the long term effects that this disease has on so many Americans and they have allowed a $23 million grant to support further research on the matter.
Many American who do not get the classic bull`s eye rash, which is the distinctive mark of Lyme Disease, often go undiagnosed and untreated for long periods of time, in turn this results into the progression of the disease and more severe symptoms, that often remain, even after treatment.
Prevention is the best medicine and there are still several things you can do to protect yourself from getting this disease. First of all, wear long trousers and long sleeved t-shirts when you are out in the nature. Secondly, check your pets for ticks, because usually the tick attaches itself onto a pet and once it gets inside the house, it attaches itself to a human host.