to Borrelia burgdorferi, bacteria that cause Lyme disease, these are good old days. Due to the spread of white tails of deer and other mammals originally present in the microorganism and seemingly endless amounts of ticks transmitted from deer to human blood, it is estimated that 300,000 people are infected every year in the United States. If not treated, Lyme disease causes great damage: it can attack the heart and nervous system and cause arthritis.
Fortunately, B. burgdorferi has not yet developed resistance to antibiotics. This is good news for most bite victims who are happy to hear the first symptoms – fever, headache, colds, fatigue, joint and muscle pain, and swollen lymph nodes and rashes up to 30 cm from the bite site – and are treated with antibiotics for 3 to 4 weeks.
But not all patients went unprotected. For unknown reasons, one out of ten patients treated for Lyme shows symptoms for months or even years. These patients fall into the gray area, the so-called Lyme Disease Treatment (PTLD) syndrome, which is characterized by cognitive dysfunction, tiredness and chronic pain. This stems from a study published in April in the journal BMC public health, The price of the US medical system is estimated at $ 1 billion a year.
Doctors discussed what could cause PTLD syndrome. Some thought of a few revolted cells B. burgdorferiknown to be smart in circumventing the immune system of the body, somehow survived treatment with antibiotics, long-termed and caused "chronic illness of the news". Recent research has questioned this point, but researchers still have no good working hypothesis.
Regardless of the cause, it appears that the number of people with PTLD syndrome increases. In it BMC health service In one study, scientists have estimated how many people are currently suffering from PTLD and how fast the number of cases can be increased. It is based on data collected by the United States Control Centers and Disease Prevention Centers, Lyme disease rate estimates, survival rates, and examples of unsuccessful treatments.
Two estimates were very different. With the assumed rate of error in treatment of 10 percent, new cases have grown steadily between 1980 and 2005, before slowing down by 2020. The number of PTLD cases has risen from about 69,000 in 2016 to more than 80,000 in 2020. When they assumed the rate of error in treatment of 20 percent, they found that the number of cases by 2020 would reach 1.9 million.
"However, our results show that a large number of chronic illnesses live with LD," the researchers wrote. Further research is needed to develop tests to accurately diagnose and treat diseases, raise public awareness and identify a consistent number of affected persons.