Justin Bieber has Lyme disease

A tick

With singer Justin Bieber having revealed that he has Lyme disease, this seems like a pertinent time to take a look at the bacterial infection

Bieber explained on social media that he has been diagnosed with Lyme disease and is currently receiving treatment, but what does this entail?

The disease is transferred from the bite of an infected tick and causes a range of symptoms such as a rash, fatigue and fever, which tend to develop around three weeks after being bitten.

Lyme disease is present in North America, Europe and Asia. In fact, it is the most commonly reported tick-borne illness in the US.

Antibiotics are the standard treatment for early-stage Lyme disease, and, for the majority of people, the infection will be cleared up by a three-week course.

The best way for travellers and natives alike to prevent Lyme disease is to avoid tick bites by knowing where to expect ticks, treating clothing and gear with products containing permethrin (a medication and insecticide), using EPA-registered insect repellants and avoiding contact with ticks.

It’s important to note that only a small number of ticks are infected with the bacteria that cause Lyme disease, but it is still best to be vigilant and remove ticks as soon as possible. The risk to travellers is generally low, except for visitors to rural areas, particularly campers or hikers, in countries or areas at risk.

With exciting research underway, including the development of a new Lyme disease diagnosis tool, patients can be given the earliest possible treatment, ensuring the best outcomes.