Lyme disease: already affects more than 14% of the world’s population

A major study has just revealed that more than 14% of the world’s population is already infected with Lyme disease.

The statistics are impressive and show the extent of Lyme disease in the world. According to a meta-analysis summarizing studies on the topic, it has already infected more than 14% of the world’s population.

Lyme disease, also known as Lyme disease, is transmitted to humans through the bite of infected ticks.

To show how common it is around the world, the researchers identified 137 eligible studies and collected data from 89 of them. It was found that antibodies against the bacterium Borrelia burgdorferi (Bb), the causative agent of Lyme disease, were found in the blood of 14.5% of the approximately 160,000 participants.

“This is the most comprehensive and up-to-date systematic review of global Bb seroprevalence,” says the study, published in the journal BMJ Global Health.

Central Europe, the most affected region

According to the published compilation, Central Europe has the highest infection rate at 20%. And men over 50 who live in rural areas are most at risk. Then the regions with the highest antibody rates are East Asia with 15.9%, Western Europe with 13.5% and Eastern Europe with 10.4%. The Caribbean has the lowest rate at just 2%.

Previous research had shown that the prevalence of tick-borne diseases had doubled in the last 12 years. According to the study, this increase can be explained by longer and drier summers due to climate change, animal migration and “increasing contact with pets”.

Contact with animals, a risk factor

Farmers and other workers who regularly deal with host animals like dogs and sheep are most at risk of being bitten by an infected tick, according to the study.

Lyme disease is rarely fatal, but people bitten by an infected tick often develop a rash and experience flu-like symptoms, including muscle and joint pain, headache, nausea, and vomiting.

In their study, the researchers point out that the data could be skewed in areas where Lyme disease is endemic because health authorities there conduct antibody tests more frequently than in areas where Lyme disease is less common, they say.

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