WiRED Releases Lyme Disease Module

BY ALLISON KOZICHAROW; EDITED BY BERNICE BORN

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limate change, which brings warmer temperatures to higher latitudes and elevations, may be one of the causes of an increase in the tick population, which in turn, has brought about an increase in cases of Lyme disease. No matter the cause, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has recorded a soaring increase in the tick population between 2004 and 2016.

 

In response to the growing problem witnessed in the United States and elsewhere in the world, WiRED International has just released a comprehensive health learning module on Lyme disease.

 

Lyme disease is a vector-borne disease and the most common tick-borne disease in the United States, Europe and Asia. It is caused by four main species of a bacterium named Borrelia, carried by a black-legged tick known as a deer tick.

 

WiRED’s Lyme Disease Module describes the illness, its causes and transmission, signs and symptoms, diagnosis, treatment, the life cycle of the Lyme tick, tick removal and testing, and complications. Prevention involves avoiding exposure, using repellent, wearing long pants when walking in the woods or working outdoors, checking for ticks and removing them promptly, and showering after being outdoors.

 

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) warns that climate change increases the number and geographic range of all disease-carrying insects and ticks. Disease cases in the United States from infected mosquitoes, ticks and fleas have tripled in the 13 years studied. Now all 50 states and the District of Columbia have residents who have been diagnosed for Lyme disease.

 

Check out WiRED’s Lyme Disease Module and learn more!

 

 


You can download the module in this story, and all 400+ of WiRED’s health modules, through WiRED’s Health Module Access Program (HealthMAP) by clicking here. This easy-to-use free program will enable you to create your own customized collection of health learning modules. You can learn more about HealthMAP through WiRED's animation.

 

 

Lyme Disease: Symptoms, Diagnosis and Treatment

 

Early symptoms of Lyme disease include fever, chills, headache, fatigue, muscle and joint aches, and swollen lymph nodes. A rash occurs in the majority of infected persons on average seven days after being bitten. The disease is diagnosed mainly on the basis of signs and symptoms and a history of exposure to ticks. Laboratory tests are helpful only if administered correctly.

 

There is no current vaccine, but most cases of Lyme disease can be treated successfully with a course of antibiotics. If left untreated, infection can spread to joints, the nervous system, and the heart (where it can be fatal).

 

 

 

 

Quiz Questions from WiRED’s Lyme Disease Module

1. True or false: Early skin lesions from the bite of an infected tick have an expanding ring form, often with a central clear zone.

 True  False

2. Arthritis may develop up to ___________ after onset of Lyme disease.

 a. 6 months  b. 1 year
 c. 2 years  d. 5 years

3. True or false: Ticks can attach to any part of the human body.

 True  False

4. After removing a tick, what type of cleansers may be used to clean the bite area and your hands?

 a. Rubbing alcohol  b. An iodine scrub
 c. Soap and water  d. All of the above

5. True or false: Lyme disease acquired during pregnancy may lead to infection of the placenta and possible stillbirth.

 True  False

6. Which areas should be avoided to prevent exposure to ticks?

 a. Wooded areas  b. Brushy areas
 c. High grass  d. Areas with leaf litter
 e. All of the above

 


New Species of Tick, a Possible Threat to the United States

 

As WiRED’s staff was preparing this Lyme story for our website, we read an early report about the Asian long-horned tick that has recently arrived in the United States and is rapidly spreading along the Eastern Seaboard.

 

In Asia the tick kills 15% of its victims, but so far this species has not been found to transmit human diseases here in the United States. Consequently, U.S. health officials say they are concerned but not alarmed. Currently, in the United States, the tick has been found to feed on animals such as horses, livestock and dogs. In cases in Australia this type of tick can suck so much blood from a young animal that it dies. After a blood meal, females can lay hundreds of fertile eggs without mating.

 

It’s not known when or how long-horned ticks reached the United States, nor why the species is spreading so fast now, although warmer weather is one important cause. Time will tell if the long-horned ticks will present a real danger to humans.

 

Source: New York Times

~ Because community health begins with knowledge ~

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