Lyme Disease (cont.)
IN THIS ARTICLE
How the disease is spread
Lyme disease is spread when you are bitten by a tick that is infected with B. burgdorferi bacteria. When an infected tick bites you, bacteria travel to the tick's salivary glands and then into your body through your skin. It takes about 24 hours for a tick to attach itself to the skin and begin to feed. The tick generally must be attached to you for about 36 hours in order for it to transmit the Lyme disease bacteria.
In the United States, the two types of ticks that carry Lyme disease bacteria are:
Dogs, cats, and horses can become infected with Lyme disease bacteria, but they can't pass the illness to humans. But infected ticks may fall off the animals and then bite and infect humans. Animals may develop symptoms similar to those seen in people, including fever and swollen joints. A vaccine for dogs is available in some states.
There is no convincing proof that Lyme disease can be spread to humans by insects such as mosquitoes, flies, or fleas.
Is Lyme disease contagious?
Lyme disease is not contagious and cannot be spread from person to person. But certain precautions should be taken to prevent spread of the illness through ways such as blood transfusions.
eMedicineHealth Medical Reference from Healthwise
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