317 pages, 2 plates with 6 colour photos; 3 b/w illustrations
Once restricted to small forested areas in the northeast and north-central United States, Lyme disease is now a common infection in North America and Europe. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention estimate that more than 300 000 new cases occur each year in the United States. Misunderstandings over symptoms and treatment increase the public's concerns about the disease – which, if not properly treated, can become chronic and debilitating.
An expert on tick-borne diseases, Alan G. Barbour explains the course of illness that results from infection, diagnosis and treatment options, and steps that can be taken to avoid a tick bite in the first place. The ticks that transmit Lyme disease may also transmit other disease-causing pathogens, and these other infections are considered as well.
Drawing on real case histories of individuals with Lyme disease – or illnesses that may be mistaken for Lyme disease – Barbour explains:
- The biology of the spirochete, Borrelia burgdorferi, that causes Lyme disease
- The role of animals such as mice that carry the infection
- The life cycle of the ticks that transmit the infection
- The importance of deer in perpetuating the cycle
- The basics of diagnostic laboratory tests and how test results are interpreted
- How antibiotics are used in treating Lyme disease
Infected ticks are abundant in the woods, in walking trails, and in the shrubs and tall grass where suburban lawns meet wooded areas. Barbour stresses preventing disease through community-wide ecology projects and individual and household protection. While it may be difficult to escape infection, understanding the danger, the symptoms, and the treatment goes a long way toward preventing long-term health consequences.
Featuring a list of reliable web sites and a glossary of terms, Lyme Disease: Why it's Spreading, How it Makes You Sick, and What to Do About it is an invaluable resource for everyone who is at risk of the disease or is involved in preventing and treating it.
"This book will help you learn about Lyme disease, including its treatment and prevention."
– Larry Goodyer – Pharmaceutical Journal
"If you are seeking reliable and accurate evidence-based information on Lyme disease, this is the first book to read. Dr. Barbour treats key issues related to Lyme disease with clarity for the nonspecialist. It is a welcome relief from the cacophony of false and misleading information being disseminated in the media, and thereby makes a significant contribution to the public health. It will be a valuable reference resource on Lyme disease for many years to come."
– Phillip J. Baker, Executive Director, American Lyme Disease Foundation
"Want to really understand Lyme disease? Here is an engaging, conversational review that is presented with empathy. It is clear, thorough, nuanced and evidence-based. Grounded in the principles of good medicine, this book will be a valuable resource for health care providers and patients alike."
– Barbara J. B. Johnson, Retired from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC)
"An outstanding book on the history, diagnosis, treatment, preventive measures, and natural course of Lyme disease. Alan Barbour's Lyme Disease is comprehensive and understandable – an informative and much needed book both for medical and scientific professionals and for the thousands of people annually exposed to tick bites."
– John F. Anderson, Distinguished Scientist, Emeritus, Connecticut Agricultural Experiment Station
"Science is complex – infections and the immune response to them particularly so – and complexity sows confusion. Misinterpretations of the biology of Lyme disease have created an air of mystery, making it possible for fanciful notions to grow up around this 'great imitator.' In this charming volume, Dr. Barbour, a pioneer of this field, provides a remarkably clear yet subtle description of these complexities, readable by any non-scientist who truly wants to understand this fascinating infection. A must read!"
– John Halperin, MD, FAAN, FACP, Atlantic Neuroscience Institute, Overlook Medical Center & Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai
"Alan Barbour has been at the forefront of Lyme disease research for over 40 years. His book is very enjoyable to read and addresses the significant uncertainties and misunderstandings contributing to Lyme-related controversies. It is an invaluable resource for everyone concerned about the disease."
– Susan O'Connell, former Head, Lyme Borreliosis Unit, Health Protection Agency Microbiology Laboratory, Southampton, UK
"With his extensive research and multiple publications, Dr. Barbour is a credible authority who is able to clearly address controversies surrounding Lyme disease diagnosis and treatment [...] This is an easy to read, easy to understand overview of Lyme disease from pathogen to treatment."
– Doody's Review Service
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Alan G. Barbour, MD, is a professor of medicine and microbiology at the University of California, Irvine School of Medicine, a co-discoverer of the cause of Lyme disease, and a leading Lyme disease researcher.