IAS Gyan

Daily News Analysis


15th March, 2024 Health

Lyme disease, Kerala, Borrelia bacteria, National Institute of Virology, Nervous system

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Picture Courtesy: https://www.medicalnewstoday.com/articles/lyme-disease-symptoms-progression-and-when-to-see-a-doctor

Context: Kerala has reported its first confirmed case of Lyme disease, a tick-borne bacterial infection, which if left untreated, can cause a range of health problems, potentially affecting the nervous system, heart, and joints.

About Lyme Disease

  • Lyme disease, commonly known as Lyme borreliosis, is caused by Borrelia bacteria that are transmitted to people by the bites of infected ticks of the genus Ixodes.
  • The most common first symptom is a growing red rash called erythema migrans (EM) at the site of the tick bite. Other early signs may include fever, headaches, fatigue, and muscle or joint pain.
  • Lyme disease, if left untreated, can cause neurological consequences like facial paralysis.
  • Lyme disease is endemic all over the Northern Hemisphere, with infections peaking in the spring and early summer.
  • The diagnosis is made using a combination of symptoms, a history of tick contact, and blood tests for particular antibodies. However, during the early stages of the condition, blood testing may provide false-negative results.
  • Wearing protective clothes, utilising picaridin-based insect repellents, and applying insecticides to reduce tick populations are all examples of prevention techniques. Quick removal of connected ticks with tweezers can help prevent transmission.
    • Prophylactic antibiotics may be explored if a tick is removed immediately and is engorged with blood, but they are not normally suggested.
  • Antibiotics like doxycycline, amoxicillin, and cefuroxime are beneficial in treating Lyme disease.
  • Standard treatment typically lasts two to three weeks; however, some people may have lasting symptoms.
  • There is currently no human Lyme disease vaccine available. LYMERix, a previously developed vaccine, was discontinued in 2002 due to insufficient demand. However, vaccinations to prevent Lyme disease in dogs are available.


Q. Which of the following are the root causes of Lyme disease?

A) A virus

B) A fungus

C) Bacteria

D) A parasite

Answer: C