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INTRODUCTION Just by living in the world human beings are susceptible to disease Many diseases -- for example influenza and tuberculosis -- are spread when bacteria or viruses pass from one person to another Other diseases are acquired genetically from ones parents such as cystic fibrosis Some diseases such as heart disease and osteoporosis develop as humans age Others humans get from the environment examples are lead poisoning and skin cancer due to exposure to the sun Finally there are diseases that can be transmitted from animals to humans Lyme disease is one such disease Cases of Lyme disease which is transmitted to humans and pets by the bite of a tick are steadily increasing in areas such as the Northeast region of the United States At present there is no vaccine for humans the best way to prevent Lyme disease is to take precautions against being bitten by a tick and allowing the tick to remain attached to the skin long enough for the infection to be transmitted HISTORY The story of Lyme disease in the United States began in 1975 when two mothers Polly Murray and Judith Mensch alarmed by the great number of cases of joint inflammation in the their communities of Lyme and Ease Haddam Connecticut contacted public health authorities 75 The health department contacted Allen Steere and his colleagues at Yale University in New Haven Steere believed the outbreak may provide a clue about the infectious agent or environmental toxin that was responsible for arthritis 226 One early observation made by Steere was an association between the arthritis and a prior skin rash A connection was then made between this rash and a similar one called erythema migrans which comes from the bite of the sheep tick Ixodes ricinus and is frequently found in northern Europe 75 After field studies and patient surveys were carried out the researchers released three essential findings which later led
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