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Strategies for primary and secondary prevention of Lyme disease.

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Lyme disease (borreliosis) incidence continues to increase despite a growing knowledge of primary and secondary prevention strategies. Primary prevention aims to reduce the risk of tick exposure and thereby decrease the incidence of new
Lyme disease cases. Secondary prevention targets the development of
disease or reduces
disease severity among people who have been bitten by infected ticks. Numerous prevention strategies are available, and although they vary in cost, acceptability and effectiveness, uptake has been universally poor. Research in areas where
Lyme disease is endemic has demonstrated that despite adequate knowledge about its symptoms and transmission, many people do not perform behaviors to reduce their risk of infection. New prevention strategies should aim to increase people’s confidence in their ability to carry out preventive behaviors, raise awareness of desirable outcomes, and aid in the realization that the necessary skills and resources are available for preventive measures to be taken. In this article we evaluate the prevention and treatment strategies for
Lyme disease, and discuss how these strategies can be implemented effectively. As many patients with
Lyme disease develop arthritis and are referred to rheumatologists it is important that these health-care providers can educate patients about
disease-prevention strategies.

Nat Clin Pract Rheumatol. 2007 Jan;3(1):20-5. Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural; Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov’t; Review

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