Vermont resident dies of rare Lyme disease complication that affected their heart

Maricruz Casares
Agosto 8, 2018

Dr. Mark Levine, Vermont's health commissioner, said when Lyme disease is contracted, "it comes through the bite of the tick and the organism gets into your bloodstream and then it spreads throughout your body".

Lyme disease has now spread to all 50 states and the District of Columbia following a significant uptick in cases between 2016 and 2017, according to a new study by clinical laboratory Quest Diagnostics.

"Our data show that positive results for Lyme are both increasing in number and occurring in geographic areas not historically associated with the disease", researchers wrote in the July 30 press release.

A new report has found that the tick-borne illness Lyme disease has been detected in all 50 states and cases continue to rise.

The black-legged tick carries Lyme and other diseases.

The condition is formed when bacteria that cause Lyme disease makes its way into heart tissue, where it can disrupt the electrical signals between the organ's chambers and create "heart block", which can quickly become worse, the release said.

Lyme Disease is transmitted by blacklegged ticks infected with the bacteria Borrelia burgdorferi.

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However, he stressed that Lyme carditis is very rare and that less than one percent of all Lyme disease cases reported to the CDC result in this condition.

According to the CDC, only nine cases of fatal Lyme carditis were reported between 1985 and 2018 with most people being treated via antibiotics.

The Vermont victim lived in Franklin County and was middle-aged but the name and sex were not revealed due to confidentiality reasons.

"Antibiotics will take care of Lyme and antibiotics will take care of this manifestation we've been talking about, carditis", Levine said.

The report of the resident's death comes just a week after a study from Quest Diagnostics revealed that Lyme disease has reached every state in the U.S. and the nation's capital.

For the new study, Quest Diagnostics analyzed the results of 6 million blood tests that doctors had ordered to diagnose Lyme disease in their patients.

According to CNBC, Valneva, a French company, is working on a vaccine for Lyme disease that was recently approved for fast-track by the FDA.

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