Scientists predict that the number of people suffering from a poorly understood type of Lyme disease could increase to nearly 2 million in 2020.
The disease most commonly transmitted by vectors in the US is a Lyme disease-causing bacterium Borrelia burgdorferi spread by infected ticks. Those affected suffer from fever, headache, chills, fatigue, joint and muscle pains and swollen lymph nodes. In many cases, patients experience erythema migrans rash, which can grow up to 12 inches in the area of the tick bite. It is estimated that about 329,000 cases occur each year, although the actual number of infections is higher.
In most cases, doctors prescribe antibiotics and symptoms appear. Others, however, may experience symptoms of post-treatment Lyme Disease Syndrome (PTLD) or post-treatment Lyme Disease Syndrome. According to the authors of the journal BMC Public Health.
published study, the disease is characterized by cognitive dysfunction, incompetent fatigue and chronic pain treatment is controversial, wrote the author. The cause is unknown ̵
"Although antibiotic therapy cures most LD patients, a significant proportion of patients continue to suffer from persistent symptoms that can derail normal life," the team wrote.
It may therefore be difficult to find accurate data on the prevalence of PTLD and other health problems can be excluded from the diagnosis.
For their study, scientists used multiple data pools to create a model that estimated the number of PTLD cases between 2016 and 2020. These included data collected by the United States Center for Disease Prevention and Disease and the US Federal Office for Disease Control, which estimates that Lyme disease rates have previously been estimated; Survival rates; and examples of treatments that fail.
According to a conservative estimate made by the researchers, 69,011 cases of PTLD occurred in 2016, which will gradually increase to 81,509 cases in 2020. In another model, the researchers reported that cases came from the 1980s and treatment failed in 20 percent of the cases. This would provide for a forecast of 1,523,869 cases in 2016 and a forecast of 1,944,189 for 2020.
The authors acknowledged that the exact assessment remains unclear.
"Nevertheless, our findings suggest that many patients live with LD-related chronic disease," they wrote. More research is now needed to create tests to accurately diagnose and treat the disease, to raise public awareness, and to get a conclusive number for the number of people affected.
While Ticks Invading Lyme Disease-causing Bacteria Can Hit It Anytime This year, the warmer months of April and September are the riskiest. The CDC recommends avoiding grassy, dusty or wooded areas where ticks might lurk and treating clothing with 0.5% permethrin products and EPA-approved insect repellent before going to the areas where the insects live could.