WHAT IS LYME DISEASE
Lyme disease is an infection that results from the bite of an infected tick. The tick that can effectively transmit the bacteria that causes Lyme disease is commonly known as the deer tick. It is also called the black-legged tick, and it’s official name is Ixodes Scapularis. The infectious organism that causes Lyme disease is a spirochete called Borrelia burgdorferi, named after Willy Burgdorfer, PhD. Dr. Burgdorfer discovered the spirochete when doing research on ticks from Shelter Island, NY in 1981. Lyme disease is a multi-symptom, multi-system illness. That means that one can have many seemingly unrelated symptoms affecting multiple organ systems such as swollen knee, heart problems, and eye problems. The literature suggests that approximately 50% of people remember a tick attachment. In the 2017 Maine CDC Legislative Report for the year 2016 there were 1439 confirmed and probable cases in Maine. Less than 50% of the cases in Maine reported an Erythema Migrans, or bulls eye rash.
The following picture is by the CDC of Borrelia Burgdorferi.
The following tick comparison shows Black Legged or Deer Ticks, Lone Star Ticks, and Dog Ticks. Note the marking on the Lone Star tick is a single white dot, and the marking on the Dog tick is a lacy white mark. These help to identify what kind of tick you are seeing.
The following pictures show an adult female Deer Tick that has not had a blood meal next to one that is fully engorged.
You can find excellent pictures of ticks at the Tick Encounter Resource Center.
Use this guide to compare and identify your tick! http://www.tickencounter.org/tick_identification