Vermont reports 1st death due to Lyme carditis

Lyme disease is now in all 50 states

Lyme disease is now in all 50 states

The Vermont Health Department reported that the unnamed resident died after the disease developed into Lyme carditis.

Dr. Mark Levine, Vermont's health commissioner, said when Lyme disease is contracted, "it comes through the bite of the tick and the organism gets into your bloodstream and then it spreads throughout your body".

Lyme carditis, listed as the cause of nine deaths worldwide between 1985 and 2014, is extremely rare, according to CDC statistics cited in the release.

The black-legged tick carries Lyme and other diseases.

Lyme carditis occurs when the bacteria that causes Lyme disease travels to the heart and interferes with its regular functions.

The condition makes up approximately one percent of all Lyme disease cases reported in the United States, the numbers show.

A red bump will appear at the site of the tick bite and between three to 30 days later, sufferers will experience, chills, headache, fever, joint pain and muscle weakness.

The new study comes just a few months after the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) reported that cases of tick-borne diseases had more than doubled over the past 13 years. Lyme carditis is treated with antibiotics, and in some cases may require a temporary pacemaker.

The Vermont victim lived in Franklin County and was middle-aged but the name and sex were not revealed due to confidentiality reasons. In 2017, California had 483 infected individuals - a 194 percent increase compared to 2015.

Lyme disease is still most prevalent in the Northeast, with seven states - Connecticut, Maine, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island and Vermont - accounting for 60 percent of all cases a year ago.

The health department issued an advisory Monday to Vermont's health care providers asking them to talk to patients who may have Lyme disease about their cardiac symptoms and to also remember the potential role of Lyme carditis in sudden cardiac events, the release said.

The report of the resident's death comes just a week after a study from Quest Diagnostics revealed that Lyme disease has reached every state in the U.S. and the nation's capital.

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