Learning all the pertinent information about a certain disease is very crucial in the prevention of its continuous spread and infection. As we all know, knowledge and awareness are the keys in avoiding these problems from corrupting our health. Nowadays, there are already thousands of diseases spread all over the world. One of these is known as the Lyme disease. But what is the Lyme disease and is Lyme disease contagious?
Defining Lyme Disease
Lyme disease is a type of infection that is caused by a bacterium called Borrelia burgdorferi. This particular pathogen is usually found in animals like rodents, mice and deer. Unfortunately, this bacterium can also be carried to human through the help of the black legged deer ticks or the Ixodes ticks. These ticks are capable of transferring the Borrelia burgdorferi to humans since they can carry the bacterium as they bite the infected animal. The ticks can also attack the human skin and deliver the bacterium to the person’s bloodstream. Unfortunately, it is very hard for us to prevent the ticks from attacking our skin since they are very small, which is very difficult for us to notice. Immature ticks or nymphs are only as big as poppy seeds while the adult ticks are only about the same size of the sesame seed. In addition to this, their bites are sometimes unnoticeable making it harder for us to detect them.
This is the reason why it is important for us to become aware of its symptoms in order for us to determine whether or not we are already infected. Some of the people infected by Lyme disease are not even able to recall the location and as well as time they were bitten. However, not all tick bites are infected and are capable of transmitting the bacterium that can lead to the occurrence of the disease.
Lyme Disease: Contagious or Not Contagious
A lot of people are actually wondering whether the Lyme disease is considered contagious. Nevertheless, Lyme disease is not contagious, which means that it cannot be acquired from any type of contact to an infected person. Nevertheless, this can still be acquired through the bites of the infected ticks that live in the woods or in any place with pets and animals. This is the reason why we should always be careful and become extremely cautious whenever we do hiking or any outdoor activities that can increase the risk of having tick bites. We should also be aware that Lyme disease can also affect the person more than once, which means that there are no antibodies produced in the body once the bacterium invades the system.
More Facts about Lyme Disease
Lyme disease is classified as a vector borne disease. This means that it requires a carrier in order for it to be transferred from one body or system to another or move from host to host. In this case, the carriers are the deer ticks. Lyme disease is not like a cold that can be caught through airborne droplets or direct contact with the infected person. However, there are still some various ways that are uncommon in transferring the Lyme disease. One of this is the possibility of transferring the disease from one person to another through infected blood transfusion. This is also true in other types of diseases like malaria. Nevertheless, with the strict and tight rules in blood donation, especially in the United States and the United Kingdom, the risk or the chance of acquiring the disease through this kind of method is considered to be very low.
Another possible yet uncommon way of transferring the bacterium is through the bites of mosquitoes. We have mentioned earlier that deer ticks are the primary carriers for this particular disease. However, there are already a few cases that show the possibility of mosquitoes from transferring the bacterium. Just like ticks, mosquitoes can also get infected by biting on to an infected host.
Aside from mosquitoes and blood transfusion, another rare, but possible way of transferring the disease is through an infected pregnant mother to her fetus. Nevertheless, this can be treated easily with antibiotics and there has been no reports yet of any death from this kind of transmission. Other ways that are considered in transmitting Lyme disease is through sexual contact. Many experts are now studying whether it is possible for the bacterium to infect the semen or the other fluids in the body just like the breast milk. However, there is still no evidence or hard facts that can prove these theories about Lyme disease transmission.
These are just some of the possible ways of transmitting the lyme disease from one person to the other. Although this is not considered a contagious health problem, there are still some possible ways that can transmit the bacterium from one host to another. Because of this, it is necessary for us to be always on guard especially when we are doing activities or we are living in a place that is considered high risk for Lyme disease infection.