Myths about Lyme Disease

What is Lyme Disease?

Lyme disease, or Lyme borreliosis, is an infectious disease caused by the bacteria Borrelia. In North America, Borrelia burgdorferi and Borrelia mayonii are the typical cause of Lyme disease. In Europe and Asia, Borrelia afzelii and Borrelia garini are the typical cause of Lyme disease. The bacteria is spread to humans via the bite of an infected tick, a deer tick or black legged tick.

Myths About Lyme Disease
Myth 1: Lyme Disease can only be diagnosed in people who remember a tick bite

False: Less than 30% of individuals diagnosed with Lyme disease in the U.S. recall a tick bite.

Myth 2: Lyme disease is very rare.

False: Each year 30,000 cases of Lyme disease are reported to CDC by state health departments and the District of Columbia. This number does not include every case of Lyme disease diagnosed each year.

Myth 3: A person who has Lyme disease can spread it to other people.

False: There is no evidence that Lyme disease is transmitted from person-to-person.

Myth 4: If there is no bull’s eye rash(erythema migrans), then a person can not have Lyme disease.

False: Often the rash, erythema migrans, does not have a bull’s eye appearance and many individuals who are diagnosed with Lyme disease do not recall a rash.

Myth 5: There is a vaccine for Lyme Disease

False: There is not a vaccine for Lyme disease at this time.

Myth 6: It’s only possible to catch Lyme disease in the warm months.

False: An individual can be infected by a tick with Lyme disease at any time of the year.

Myth 7: Lyme disease is only an issue in rural areas.

False: Lyme disease can be found in both rural and urban areas.

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