Lyme disease, transmitted by tick bites, most commonly affects rural men over the age of 50.
The results of a large-scale study, published on Tuesday in the journal BMJ Global Health, indicate that at least 14% of the world’s population suffers from this tick-borne disease. The highest infection rate in central Europe, while men 50+ who live in rural areas are most susceptible to infection, reports AFP.
A lethal outcome in this disease is extremely rare, but after a bite by an infected tick, the infection manifests itself with unpleasant symptoms: nausea and vomiting, pain in the joints and muscles, skin rash, and headaches.
Analyzing the spread of Lyme disease, scientists used data from 89 studies. The disease-causing bacterium Borrelia burgdorferi was found in the blood of 14.5% of the 160,000 participants. Territorially, the level of the disease is characterized as follows: central Europe – 20%, eastern Asia – 15.9%, eastern Europe – 10.4%.
Over the past 12 years, a study has shown, the number of cases of Lyme disease has doubled. This was facilitated by climate change (dry long summer), “increasing contacts with domestic animals”, animal migration.
In the zone of increased risk of infection, farmers and those who communicate with domestic animals – dogs, sheep – workers.
Previously, our publication said that in Greece recorded cases of encephalitis in shepherds in Central Macedonia and Thessaly after being bitten by wood ticks. In humans, the severity of the disease ranges from mild to severe encephalitis with fatal or long-term neurological consequences.