Lyme disease is caused by bacteria known as spirochete. The species that is responsible for this disease is called as Borrelia burgdorferi and it spreads through infected ticks. The ticks that carry these bacteria in the United States are the deer ticks. These ticks live on adult deer; in its larvae state, it lives in the white-footed mouse. Almost half of the adult deer ticks are usually affected by the Lyme bacteria. On the average, a deer carries up to more than 200 deer ticks at one time. However, by removing the deer from the pool of host animals, the life cycle of the tick can be interrupted.
In most parts of the country, deer is the only huge animal that is capable of providing blood meal to the adult female tick that will help her lay eggs. The deer also carries these ticks to areas where people work, live and play. The tick gets affected by the Lyme disease, as a result of sucking blood from the deer that is already affected by the disease. They bite people in the nymph stage when they are between the larva and the adult stage. At this stage, the size of the tick is quite small and can be compared to that of a poppy seed and cannot be seen. Almost 75 percent of the population that is affected by the Lyme disease would not even remember when they had been bitten.
When the tick bites a person, the spirochete bacteria enters the skin, this happens almost 36 to 48 hours after the tick has bitten the person. The bitten area will develop a rash, but the bacteria can travel up to the distant tissues through the blood. The other symptoms related to the disease can be caused by the own reaction of the body. Some of the symptoms of the disease include fever, stiff neck, lethargy, aches, headache and more. Anyone who is exposed to the ticks is at a risk of contracting Lyme disease, and this even includes pets. However, the disease is more commonly seen to affect the following:
• Children in the age group of 5 to 14.
• Adults in the age group of 30 to 49.
• People who plays golf.
• Camping lovers.
• People who work in the outer areas.
• People who spend a lot of time in outdoor recreational activities.
Studies have also shown that the Lyme disease can cause a lot of problems in people over the age of 70. There has also been no evidence of people contracting the disease from water, air or food or even through sexual contact or directly through the wild or domestic animals. According to research, no one has contracted Lyme disease through mosquitoes, fleas or flies or even through blood transfusion of an infected person or by contacting the urine of the infected person.