Friday, December 13, 2013

Three sudden cardiac deaths associated with Lyme carditis

Thu Dec 12, 2013 6:04 pm (PST) . Posted by:

"Rick Laferriere" ri_lymeinfo

Three Sudden Cardiac Deaths Associated with Lyme Carditis ��� 
United States, November 2012���July 2013
Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report ( MMWR )
December 13, 2013 / 62(49);993-996 

Lyme disease is a multisystem illness caused by /Borrelia 
burgdorferi/, a spirochete transmitted by certain species of 
/Ixodes/ ticks. Approximately 30,000 confirmed and probable 
cases of Lyme disease were reported in the United States in 
2012, primarily from high-incidence states in the Northeast 
(Connecticut, Delaware, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, New 
Hampshire, New Jersey, New York, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, 
and Vermont) and upper Midwest (Minnesota and Wisconsin).

Common manifestations include cutaneous, neurologic, and 
rheumatologic signs and symptoms. Symptomatic infection of 
the heart is rare in recognized Lyme disease cases and 
usually resolves promptly with appropriate antibiotic 
therapy. Nonetheless, cardiac involvement occasionally can 
cause life-threatening cardiac conduction abnormalities.

During November 2012 - July 2013, one woman and two men 
(ranging in age from 26 to 38 years) from high-incidence 
Lyme disease states experienced sudden cardiac death and, on 
postmortem examination, were found to have evidence of Lyme 
carditis. The three deaths were investigated by the 
Connecticut Department of Public Health, Massachusetts 
Department of Public Health, New Hampshire Department of 
Public Health, New York State Department of Health, and CDC. 
Donated corneas from two decedents had been transplanted to 
three recipients before the diagnosis of Lyme disease was 
established, but no evidence of disease transmission was found.

Although death from Lyme carditis is rare, it should be 
considered in cases of sudden cardiac death in patients from 
high-incidence Lyme disease regions. Reducing exposure to 
ticks is the best method for preventing Lyme disease and 
other tickborne infections.

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