Lyme disease is considered one of the most infectious diseases ever. This disease is caused by bacteria which is spiral shaped. This bacterium is known as Borrelia burgdorferi. It is known that this bacterium is commonly spread by ticks, fleas, mites, and mosquitoes. Though the disease can spread due to the bite of these insects, it can also spread by other means. In fact, this disease can be spread by sexual intercourse or through an infected mother’s blood to the unborn baby.
It has also been found that animals that get infected by this disease can pass the bacterium to humans. For instance, farm animals that get infected may infect people who consume their products. Since the incidence of this disease has increased over the last few years, blood banks have begun to test blood for the presence of the bacteria before transfusion.
Today, Lyme disease is considered to be one of the fastest growing diseases in the world. In the US alone, there are 0.2 million cases reported every year. Since the disease is relatively new, the testing methods and treatments are still not known very well. It is believed that most of the people infected with this disease worldwide, belong to the US. As compared to the world, the number of people who are infected in the US is about 10 times more than the rest of the world.
Since anyone can get infected by Lyme disease, both humans and their pets are at risk. Ticks and fleas usually infect animals and therefore the risk of developing Lyme disease is much higher in animals than in humans. It is also known that many of the people infected with this disease do not show any symptoms at all in the first few months. It is believed that if there is an unexplained illness with very few symptoms, Lyme disease cannot be ruled out.
Ordinarily, the test should be performed in a laboratory setting by a trained professional. A lab technician performs an ELISA test to check for the antibodies of the disease. If the test comes out positive, an ink blot test is subsequently performed. This helps in identifying the disorder correctly.
However, to increase the ease of those who want to get tested repeatedly even when they are asymptomatic, some companies have come out with home test kits which can help you determine whether you or your pets should be tested formally. These tests are extremely convenient and can be taken anywhere and at any time. However, the results of the tests should always be shown to a doctor before being considered seriously.