(GlobeNewswire) – While Zika is grabbing headlines as an emerging disease, another arthropod-borne condition, Lyme disease, remains in the shadows although it affects far more Americans, with about 300,000 new cases per year, states the Association of American Physicians and Surgeons (AAPS).
The CDC states it is the most common vector-borne disease in the U.S. It is caused by the spirochete Borrelia burdorferi, a type of bacteria that is prevalent in small mammals and transmitted by the bite of the blacklegged tick.
The acute disease, if recognized, is readily treated with antibiotics. Controversy surrounds the claim that many cases become chronic, causing a severely debilitating illness that continues for decades. Some experts doubt the occurrence of the chronic form, especially if commonly used tests are negative, AAPS notes.