Health. More than 14% have contracted Lyme disease.

A meta-analysis that compiles studies on the topic, published Tuesday, shows that Lyme disease has been reported in more than 14%.

Health. More than 14% have contracted Lyme disease.

A meta-analysis that compiles studies on the topic, published Tuesday, shows that Lyme disease has been reported in more than 14%.

Lyme borreliosis, also known as Lyme disease, is an infection caused by bacteria from the Borrelia sensu lato complex. It is transmitted to humans through the bites of infected ticks.

The highest incidence of infection in Central Europe is 20%, according to a compilation published in BMJ Global Health. Rural areas have the highest risk for men over 50.

The researchers identified 137 eligible studies out of a possible 4196 and pooled data for 89 of them to show the prevalence of Lyme disease around the globe. The blood contained antibodies against Borrelia burgdorferi in 14.5% of the 160,000 participants. The study states that it is the most complete and current systematic review of global Bb seroprevalence.

The regions with the highest antibodies rates, after Central Europe, are East Asia, with 15.9%, Western Europe and Eastern Europe with 13.5%, respectively. It is at 10.4%. Only 2% is found in the Caribbean.

Research has shown that tick-borne diseases have doubled in the last 12 years.

According to the study, this increase can be explained by "increasingly frequent contact" with pets and longer, drier summers as a result of climate change and animal migration.

The study revealed that farmers and other workers who frequently interact with animals such as sheep and dogs are at greatest risk of getting bitten by infected ticks.

It said that data could be biased in Lyme disease endemic areas, where health authorities are more likely routinely to perform antibody tests than in areas where it is less prevalent.

Although Lyme disease is not usually fatal, it can cause severe symptoms such as rash, muscle and joint pain, nausea, vomiting, and headaches.

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