Lyme disease is a chronic, multi-system disease transmitted by ticks that seems to attack all kinds of tissues and all organs of the human body. Lyme disease, also known as Lyme borreliosis, is caused by special species of bacteria – Spirochetes (Latin Spirocheta). The type of spirochete that causes Lyme disease belongs to the genus Borrelia, most often to Borrelia burgdorferi, Borrelia afzalii and Borrelia garinii.
Lyme disease is a dangerous condition that can destroy lives. Unfortunately, most people affected do not even know about its existence. Millions of people diagnosed with rheumatoid arthritis, multiple sclerosis, Alzheimer’s disease, fibromyalgia, chronic fatigue syndrome or other degenerative diseases can actually suffer from Lyme disease.
According to official statistics, in Poland the incidence of Lyme disease is 9-10 per 100,000, however, experts from the National Institute of Hygiene say that the foregoing data are underestimated up to tenfold. This is due to the fact that a person suffering from Lyme disease is not always reported to respective services involved in the preparation of reports and tracking the epidemiological situation of our country. Therefore, at least 40 000 people in Poland suffer Lyme disease every year. The area of our country is considered endemic, i.e. there is no safe area where ticks are not infected with Lyme disease. To get infected with Lyme disease, you do not have to go to the forest; infected ticks can also be found in the backyard garden, meadow, orchard or city park. It is estimated that the percentage of infected ticks in various regions of Poland can reach even more than 60%.Lyme disease is considered rare, meanwhile we can say that we have been dealing with an epidemic of tick-borne diseases for a long time. This disease is currently the most frequent infectious disease in Poland, which hinders normal human functioning. Unfortunately, the approach to Lyme disease in our country has not changed for years, and patients instead of quickly receiving adequate help, sometimes for the majority of their lives are looking for the causes of their ill-being or are treated like hypochondriacs and people with psychosomatic disorders. Only raising public awareness to the problem of Lyme disease and other tick-borne diseases can make the disease finally treated as a serious problem that must be addressed and tried as soon as possible.