Geek Trivia

Lyme Disease Is Named After A?

Town
Tick Species
Doctor
Merchant Ship
Which Video Game Was Turned Into A Movie And Then Back Into A Video Game?

Answer: Town

Lyme disease is an infectious disease spread by ticks and caused by a Borrelia-type bacteria. The symptoms of the disease may include fever, headaches, fatigue, and in the untreated later stages, loss of the ability to move one or both sides of the face, joint pains, severe headaches with neck stiffness, or heart palpitations. The latter symptoms are precisely why it went misdiagnosed for so long. For decades, what we now call Lyme disease was misdiagnosed as juvenile rheumatoid arthritis when found in young people and in older patients, the symptoms were simply chalked up to aging.

In 1975, however, the disease was diagnosed for the first time as a separate condition in the town of Old Lyme, Connecticut, from which the disease derives its name. The bacterium that triggers the disease was first identified in 1981. Although there was a vaccine on the market between 1998 and 2002, it was removed from the market due to poor sales, lack of insurance coverage, and rumors about adverse effects. From then until the present day, the standard treatment for exposure to the disease is one to four weeks of antibiotic therapy.

The key to avoiding Lyme disease is to wear an effective DEET-based bug repellent and clothing that provides adequate coverage when you’re in a tick-rich area (such as hiking in the woods or working in an area dense with wild grass), checking yourself for ticks after a time in such an area (removal before 24 hours have passed reduces the risk of Lyme disease to nearly zero percent), and seeking immediate medical attention if a tick found on your body has been attached for 36 hours or longer.

Image by Scott Bauer/United States Department of Agriculture.