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Ohio experiences spike in Lyme disease
Date: 2012-09-04 22:35:11

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) stated that nearly 30,000 instances of Lyme disease were reported in the Northeast and upper Midwest U.S. regions in 2009. The organization also suspected that 8,500 other illnesses that weren't diagnosed as Lyme disease could have been exactly that. Lyme disease blood testing is required to determine if symptoms the CDC lists - fever, rash, exhaustion, stunned facial muscles or aching joints - are due to this infection. If untreated for long periods of time, the bacterial illness could lead to more serious conditions, such as brain, nervous system and heart damage.

A recent article from documents Ohio officials' anxiety about an increase in potentially disease-carrying ticks in their state.

"We're finding ticks in places we didn't find them before, and we know some of those ticks are infected," said Glen Needham, associate professor of entomology at Ohio State University, quoted by the news source.

Another official, Richard Gary of the Ohio Department of Health, told that he suspects the steady rise in the tick population could be due to infected birds, livestock or deer entering Ohio from other areas. The news source states there have been 34 cases of the illness, which could have been confirmed by Lyme disease blood testing in Ohio this year, as opposed to what the CDC reports as 21 cases in 2010.

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Scientist spreads a warning about Lyme disease
Date: 2012-09-06 13:59:56

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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Lyme disease not as prevalent in Southeast
Date: 2012-09-10 20:19:20

New research appearing in the journal Zoonoses and Public Health says that, although many people in the Northeast and Midwest require Lyme disease blood tests after being bitten by a tick, residents of the Southeast region of the U.S. don't have to worry about Lyme disease as much as other tick-borne illnesses.

"The lone star tick is by far the most abundant tick in the Southeast, and which species of tick bites you is critical because different ticks carry different diseases. In the Southeast, you are unlikely to be bitten by the blacklegged ticks that spread Lyme disease," said study author Ellen Stromdahl, entomologist from the U.S. Army Public Health Command.

The scientists' report points to a study where 13 out of 20 tick bite victims were prescribed antibiotics for Lyme disease. However, almost none the of ticks removed from these individuals were known to spread the vector-borne illness. Researchers say that spotted fever rickettsiosis and ehrlichiosis are conveyed through infected ticks in the Southwest, but Lyme disease blood tests administered to southerners normally produce negative results.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention states that of the nearly 30,000 cases of Lyme disease confirmed during 2009, the majority took place in the Northeast or Midwest.

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