Lyme Disease Epidemiology

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Lyme Disease Causal Agent and Epidemiology Lyme disease is a rapidly growing vector-borne disease that spans North America (Edlow, 2012). This disease has an established and well-researched causal agent and epidemiology. Both of these aspects will be discussed in detail below. This disease has a huge impact on the population of North America, with reports of 20,000 diagnosed patients in 2011 (Elbaum-Garfinkle, 2011) and an estimated 300,000 people affected annually by 2013 (Berger et al., 2013). This disease has been recognized since 1975, and has continued to grow in incidence and impact since its initial discovery. Yale scientists Dr. Allan C. Steere and Dr. Stephen E. Malawista are credited as being the first to recognize, name, characterize,…show more content…
Stanek and Reiter (2011) studied a number of alternate strains of Borrelia bacterium discovered between 1982 and 1992, including Borrelia afzelii, B. burgdorferi sensu stricto, and Borrelia garinii. From 1992 to 2010, another 15 genospecies of spirochaetes were identified in North America, Europe, and Asia. Of the 18 identified genomic species, only three (Borrelia afzelii, Borrelia burgdorferi, and Borrelia garinii) have been identified as pathogenic causal agents of Lyme disease. The infections occurs when a deer tick in the nymph phase feeds on a human and transmits the bacterium into that human’s blood stream. The CDC reported that Lyme disease was primarily diagnosed in 14 states in 2014: Connecticut, Delaware, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, Minnesota, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New York, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, Vermont, Virginia, and Wisconsin (CDC, 2016). This disease is concentrated primarily in the northeast and upper Midwest regions of the United States (CDC, 2016). There are a few reported cases of Lyme disease outside of this region annually, but not a significant number. The majority of cases of reported and confirmed Lyme disease remain in the northeast and upper Midwest…show more content…
The CDC report from 2003-2005 indicated a total of 64,382 cases of Lyme disease from 46 states, with 93% of cases reported in Connecticut, Delaware, Maryland, Massachusetts, Minnesota, New Jersey, New York, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, and Wisconsin. The median age of patients in reported cases was 41 years, with ages ranging from 0 to 90 years. Men and women were equally represented in reported cases. The CDC identified participation in outdoor activities as a risk factor for infection, and provides educational materials for members of the public to download that provides procedures to reduce the risk of

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