Minnesotans across the state are at risk for tick-borne diseases. Minnesota and Wisconsin have the second most cases of Lyme Disease in the nation – behind New England.
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Some Facts About Lyme Disease
Lyme disease is caused by a spirochete, a corkscrew-shaped bacterium called Borrelia burgdorferi. Often called "The Great Imitator," the symptoms of Lyme often mimic other diseases. Lyme disease can affect virtually any bodily organ, including the brain and nervous system, muscles and joints, even the heart.
The most often way to contract Lyme is from the bite of a nymphal, or immature tick. Because they are the size of a poppy seed, nymphs are so tiny and their bite so painless that many people do not even realize they have been bitten. A tick can bite you and move on without imbedding itself in your skin. In fact, not every case of Lyme disease results in the often typical "bullseye" rash.
The CDC (Centers for Disease Control and Prevention) estimates that 300,000 people are diagnosed with Lyme disease each year in the US.
The real number of cases is much higher because 50% of negative test results are a false negative when standard tests are used.
Lyme disease affects people of all ages and is found throughout the United States and in sixty other countries.
Because Lyme disease can often be difficult to diagnose, many people who actually have Lyme may be misdiagnosed with other conditions.