Tourists visiting the United States contract Babesia, leaving one dead

Babesia microti causes death of elderly woman
Two South Korean women contracted the tick-borne disease Babesia microti (B. microti) while traveling to the United States. One of them had visited New Jersey, while the other had traveled to Boston. Both women were diagnosed upon their return to South Korea.

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Lyme disease manifesting as acute transverse myelitis

back pain, Lyme disease
Acute transverse myelitis (ATM) is a neurologic disorder caused by inflammation of the spinal cord. This inflammation can damage or destroy the fatty substance (myelin) protecting the nerve cell fibers along the spine and disrupt the communication between the nerves in the spinal cord and the rest of the body.

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Blood smear not reliable in diagnosing Borrelia miyamotoi disease

microscope, lab
Borrelia miyamotoi disease (BMD) is another tick-borne pathogen that can be difficult to diagnose with serologic tests. BMD is a spiral-shaped bacteria that is closely related to the bacteria that causes tick-borne relapsing fever.

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Erratic rapid eye jerks in a child with Lyme disease

eyes, eye, vision
A 9-year-old girl presented to the emergency room complaining of headaches for several days, along with involuntary erratic fast eye movements (opsoclonus) and left peripheral facial palsy. There were no reports of tick exposure, tick bites or an erythema migrans rash.

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Don’ t confuse somatic symptoms with depression in early Lyme disease

depression, anxiety
Patients with early Lyme disease appeared to be depressed when evaluated with the Beck Depression Inventory (BDI-II) tool, according to a study by Wormser and colleagues, published in the American Journal of Medicine. [1] But after antibiotic treatment, the patients’ BDI-II scores returned to normal, leading the authors to conclude that these patients, in fact, did not suffer from depression.

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First report of Lyme disease causing mitral valve endocarditis

operating room
There have been multiple reports documenting cardiac manifestations of Lyme disease, including Lyme carditis, Lyme endocarditis and atrioventricular block. But valve problems caused by B. burgdorferi are rare. In a recent article “Lyme Disease-An Unusual Cause of a Mitral Valve Endocarditis,” Fatima and colleagues describe what they believe to be the “first documented case of mitral valve endocarditis [caused] by B. burgdorferi in North America.” [1]

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How the incidence of an EM rash can be inflated

The incidence of an erythema migrans (EM) rash, a definitive sign of Lyme disease, has been touted by Shapiro and Wormser as occurring in at least 90% of patients. Their claim is published in a recent letter to the editor in JAMA. [1] So, how did they reach this conclusion? The answer lies in the two studies they cite. [2,3]

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A case of Lyme carditis in Mexico

Mexico, flag
The medical literature typically describes Lyme carditis cases occurring in the Northeastern USA. But a recent article in the Journal of Electrocardiology features the case of a 23-year-old woman with Lyme carditis from the Northeast region of Mexico.

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Elderly Lyme disease patients more likely to have unfavorable treatment outcome

elderly
There have been limited studies investigating the impact of age on the clinical course and treatment outcome for Lyme disease. Now, a European study by Borsic and colleagues examines whether age is associated with treatment response.

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Are Lyme disease prevention methods really working?

There are a growing number of measures promoted to prevent Lyme disease. Yet, the number of cases continues to grow. So, how effective are these prevention methods? To answer that question, Richardson and colleagues reviewed the literature on such recommendations. In their assessment, the authors used a modified Cochrane Risk of Bias tool.

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