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Epidemiology and clinical presentation of Erythema chronicum migrans
disease are not well known yet. During a period of only 19 months, serological and clinical investigation of 2955 patients rendered 1106 cases of infection whose widespread incidence was remarkable: of the 328 administration districts of the FRG, 205 were affected. Accordingly, positive antibodies against Borrelia burgdorferi could be demonstrated in an average of 15.7% of the investigated rural population (2830 persons). Typical clinical signs were encountered in 817 of 1106 infected persons. Erythema (458 cases) and meningopolyneuritis (404 cases) were especially prominent. In comparison to
Lyme disease the occurrence of arthritis (63 cases), carditis (13 cases) multiple erythema, recurrence, and central nervous symptoms in meningopolyneuritis (10%) were rare. On the other hand, progressive borrelia encephalomyelitis (45 cases) was surprisingly common. Acrodermatitis chronica atrophicans occurred in 72 cases; lymphadenosis benigna cutis in 5 patients. The variability of this
disease is demonstrated by the combined syndromes occurring in only 27% of the cases.