HOW DO YOU GET LYME ?
What is Lyme disease? What causes Lyme disease? These questions are being asked more frequently than before. Lyme is the fastest growing multiple infection syndrome threatening the health of North Americans. More and more cases are reported throughout United States and Canada.
Initially it was believed that one could get bitten by a tick only within the wilderness. More recent studies have revealed that ticks are much closer to us than we thought. They can be found in patchy woods in the suburbs, in the parks and on our pets.
Some consider that global warming is responsible for the ticks’ accelerated developmental cycle and their abundant presence within new habitats. The extended summer temperatures and the decline of harsh cold winter days has increased the feeding period of the ticks, enabling the bacteria strains to become stronger and more persistent.
Others believe that deforestation increased the spread of the disease, as the gap between humans and animals got shorter. However, by now specialists know that the black-legged tick pick up the bacteria not only from deers, but also from mice, birds and other small animals they feed upon.
Whatever the cause, the truth is that the threat is out there. And it is not only ticks that you need to be aware of! The black-legged tick (also called “deer tick”) is just the most common Lyme-carrier.
Although the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention still maintain their statement that only ticks can transmit Lyme Disease, more and more people recall been bitten by other insects.
There are theories suggesting that the mosquitoes, fleas, bedbugs, deer flies, sand flies, sand fleas, horse flies and mites can also carry the Borrelia burgdorferi and/or other co-infections such as Borrelia, Babesia, Bartonella, Ehrlichia, etc. The term “Lyme” has been inaccurately used to describe a bucketload of infections.
Lyme Disease Association of Australia made available on their website a short overview of scientific research regarding the transmission of Lyme Disease. Some of the studies published there present new evidence that Borrelia can be contracted in utero, and that it can be sexually transmitted through vaginal secretions and seminal fluid. It is also suggested that Borrelia can be passed on from animals to humans via exposure to their urine, blood, semen, colostrums or synovial fluid.
Research studies raised concerns of the possibility of Lyme transmission through blood transfusion and one study indicated that the blood recipients contracted Babesios via donated blood supply.
According to an article published on The Annals of Internal Medicine, “Transfusion-Associated Babesiosis: Shouldn’t We Be Ticked Off?” the number and frequency of transfusion-associated babesiosis cases are rapidly increasing.