Lyme disease – United States

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A 70-year-old man in United States who was bitten by a tick was tested positive for 3 diseases: Borrelia burgdorferi, Anaplasma phagocytophilum and Babesia microti.

It is suspected that the infection was caused by a single tick bite. The man had symptoms of fever, nausea, distinct swelling around the bitten spot with pain, anemia, thrombocytopenia, acute kidney injury and possible liver damage.

The man was given a three-dose regimen of antibiotics and his symptoms resolved.

Photo: Adult deer tick, Ixodes scapularis

Lyme disease, also known as Lyme borreliosis, is an infectious disease caused by the Borrelia bacterium which is spread by ticks.

The most common sign of infection is an expanding red rash, known as erythema migrans, that appears at the site of the tick bite about a week after it occurred.

If untreated, symptoms may include loss of the ability to move one or both sides of the face, joint pains, severe headaches with neck stiffness, or heart palpitations, among others. Months to years later, repeated episodes of joint pain and swelling may occur.

Prevention includes efforts to prevent tick bites such as by wearing clothing to cover the arms and legs, and using insect repellents. Attached ticks should be removed promptly with fine tipped tweezers. Risk of infection increases with time of attachment.

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