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The conditions for
Lyme disease are ideal in northern Spain, but the risk factors are not well established.
To describe the clinico-epidemiological characteristics of those patients hospitalized with the diagnosis of
Lyme disease in a region of northern Spain (Vizcaya).
PATIENTS AND METHODS:
Retrospective analysis of the patients hospitalized with
Lyme disease in Vizcaya between 1989 and 1996.
Twenty-six cases met the clinical and serologic CDC criteria, 21 males and 5 females, with a mean age of 52 years. Neurologic manifestations were most common (73%), followed by erythema migrans (62%), arthralgias (38%) and arthritis (15%). Fifty-eight percent of the patients recalled a tick bite and rural professional or recreational activities were the main risk factors. Most of the patients did not seek medical help until late in the
disease, which led to greater morbidity.
Increasing number of
Lyme disease cases in northern Spain represents a public health problem.
Disease morbidity could be reduced by targeted education to populations at risk.