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Scientist spreads a warning about Lyme disease

Category: Lyme Disease

British researcher Richard Bingham is in the process of conducting new experiments on Lyme disease, hoping to enhance prevention, detection and treatment methods for the vector-borne illness.

Individuals who experience flu-like symptoms after being bitten by a tick should promptly send for Lyme disease blood testing. If undetected and untreated, Lyme disease can progress to do significant damage to the heart, brain and nervous system, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

"When a warm blooded mammal comes along, the ticks attach themselves to the skin and start to feed. The bacteria is actually inside the gut of the tick and it gets injected into the host through the salivary glands of the tick and once it's in your bloodstream, it starts to reproduce and can cause a quite nasty infection," said Bingham, of the University of Huddersfield.

Caused when the Borrelia burgdorferi bacteria enters a human circulatory system through a tick bite, Lyme disease can latch onto natural blood proteins, thereby masking itself from immune systems, according to a statement from the University of Huddersfield.

The university's release also says that Lyme disease blood testing confirmed 1,578 instances of the bacterial disease in the U.K. in 2009, while only 346 cases were reported in 2003.

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