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Lyme disease is a chronic and infectious illness caused by the bacteria Borrelia burgdorferi. It is transmitted to humans through the bite of infected blacklegged ticks, which are commonly found in wooded or grassy areas. The most common symptom of Lyme disease is an expanding round rash that appears several days to weeks after being bitten by an infected tick. Other symptoms may include fever, headache, fatigue and joint pain. If left untreated, it can cause severe neurological problems like facial paralysis, meningitis and even heart blockage within months of infection.

Level of Public Health Issue:
Lyme Disease is currently a major public health issue in the United States with more than 300,000 annual cases reported each year according to the Centers for Disease Control (CDC). It has been labeled as “the great imitator” because its symptoms mimic those associated with many other illnesses such as flu and arthritis making it hard to diagnose without proper testing. This can lead to Lyme disease going undiagnosed until more serious complications arise requiring long-term treatment with antibiotics and/or other therapies. As such, awareness among healthcare professionals as well as individuals at risk of exposure remains key in order to reduce the spread of this illness.

Disease Progression: After a tick bite from an infected blacklegged tick (Ixodes scapularis), transmission usually occurs when there has been prolonged attachment for at least 36 hours; however, transmission may also occur if attached for less time due to high spirochete burden present in some ticks’ saliva during certain times of year or location where they have fed on higher concentrations hosts carrying Bb bacteria . Upon entering into human system by way of dermal puncture from tick bite or contact with contaminated surfaces (e..g animal fur), Borrelia Burgdorferi will begin invading tissue surrounding wound site before spreading throughout body via bloodstream over course few days/weeks post exposure depending on individual’s immune response capabilities & severity status infection during initial onset stage prior diagnosis & commencement treatments w/antibiotics etc…

Risk Factors: While anyone who spends time outdoors can be exposed to Lyme disease-carrying ticks, there are several factors that increase one’s risk for contracting this illness. These include geographical location – people living in regions where Ixodes scapularis deer ticks tend to congregate have higher rates; activities – spending time engaging outdoor activities such as camping or hiking; poor preventive measures – not wearing protective clothing while out in wooded areas or engaging other outdoor pursuits; pets – pet owners often fail recognize transfer potential between animals their environment including home environments; vegetation type – tall grasses provide ideal environment growth development population these insects which help transmit pathogen person coming contact them directly indirectly during activity outside home property surroundings etc…

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