Study: Ticks could help explain why Lyme disease is hard to diagnose in Bay Area

STANFORD (KRON) — A new study looking at ticks could help explain why Lyme disease is so hard to diagnose in the Bay Area.

The study also appears to have debunked a myth about where ticks are found. Take a walk in most any wooded area around the Bay Area and you could pick up a nasty little hitchhiker known as the western black-legged tick, which is known to carry Lyme disease.

But now researchers at Stanford have found that ticks carry different bacteria that produce varying symptoms in different people — symptoms like fever, headaches and fatigue.

If two people are bitten by the same tick, one might contract Lyme disease, while the other might not. What’s worse, it’s now thought that a tick, and someone bitten by it, could be infected by more than one strain of bacteria. That could explain higher numbers of Lyme disease in Marin County and along Peninsula, where there are more redwoods.

The Lyme Foundation said the research should encourage doctors to look beyond classic early stage symptoms that resemble a bad cold.

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