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Lyme disease is an infection caused by a kind of bacteria (germ) called a spirochete. This bacterium, Borrelia burgdorferi, is transmitted by the bite of an infected deer tick. It is the most common tick-borne infection in both North America and Europe. Diagnosis is based on a variety of symptoms, physical findings, blood tests, and a history of exposure to infected ticks. The June 20, 2007, issue of JAMA includes an article that discusses a rash called erythema migrans (see below) as a clinical sign that is consistent with a diagnosis of early Lyme disease and other related tick-borne diseases.
Zeller JL, Burke AE, Glass RM. Lyme Disease. JAMA. 2007;297(23):2664. doi:10.1001/jama.297.23.2664
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