Tick Bites and Lyme Disease

Corkscrew like bacteria known as Borrelia burgdorferi cause Lyme disease, of which tick bites are the most common means of delivery to humans. However, ticks acquire the bacteria from infested hosts like white-footed mice during their early feedings.

Within North America, three tick species are responsible for the transmission of Lyme disease: the deer tick (Ixodes scapularis), the western blacklegged tick (Ixodes pacificus), and the lone star tick (Amblyomma americanum). They are small arachnids with reddish-brown coloration.

Lyme disease manifests in different ways in different bite victims. For many years, Lyme disease was misdiagnosed as the flu or rheumatoid arthritis. It was discovered in 1970s in Lyme and Old Lyme, Conn. It is imperative that anyone experiencing Lyme-like symptoms seek immediate medical attention.