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One type of test (called a “culture”) seeks to isolate the actual organism from the EM skin lesion, blood, joints, and cerebrospinal fluid.
Infected larval and nymphal ticks feed on small mammals (usually rodents) while adult ticks feed on deer.
The explosive repopulation of white-tailed deer in parts of the United States has been linked to the spread of Lyme disease.
The disease is caused by a bacterial agent called , which was first identified in North America in 1982.
Although the majority of cases are reported from the northeastern, north central, and Pacific coastal regions of the country, several hundred cases annually are reported from the southeast and south-central United States.
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Lyme disease is the most common tick-borne disease in the United States.
It was named in 1977 when arthritis was observed in a cluster of children in and around Lyme, Connecticut.
The majority of human Lyme disease cases result from bites by infected nymphs.
At this stage the tick is small, less easily detected, and less likely to be promptly removed, which increases the possibility that it will transmit disease.