AS SEEN IN Quorum, Community Associations Institute, June 2014: Written by Shannon Junior, Aquatic Ecologist
Lyme disease is the most common vector-borne illness reported in the United States, and Virginia and Maryland are among the 13 states in the union where more than 95 percent of the cases have been identified. The disease is caused by the organism Borrelia burgdorferi, a corkscrew-shaped bacterium of the spirochete group. The bacteria exist in very high levels in mammals such as white-footed mice and white-tailed deer, which are immune to the disease but are common hosts for hard-shelled ticks of the genus Ixodes. The disease lives in the midgut of the ticks and is transmitted when they feed on other hosts that are susceptible to the disease, such as humans and dogs.