Lyme disease is not sexually transmitted

posted in: Science vs myths | 0

According to the CDC:

There is no credible scientific evidence that Lyme disease is spread through sexual contact. Published studies in animals do not support sexual transmission, and the biology of the Lyme disease spirochete is not compatible [with] this route of exposure.

Lyme disease is only spread by black legged (Ixodes) ticks. Typically, the tick needs to be attached for 36-48 hours or more to transmit Lyme disease.

Zika vs Lyme disease

Zika virus is a typically mosquito-borne infection that led to an epidemic starting in 2015. When Zika spreads from a pregnant woman to her fetus, birth defects such as brain malformations and microcephaly can result. One case of microcephaly can devastate a family and potentially cost $10 million.

The cost to treat Lyme disease is generally less than $50 worth of oral antibiotics, but there is no medication or vaccine to treat Zika. CDC quickly determined Zika can be sexually transmitted by both men and women.  However, decades of scientific study of Lyme disease have shown no compelling evidence of sexual transmission.

The individuals who allege a CDC coverup of the possibility of Lyme sexual transmission have failed to justify their conspiracy theory. Why would CDC quickly acknowledge sexual transmission of Zika while maintaining that Lyme disease is not sexually transmissible?

Resources:

CDC Frequently Asked Questions: Can Lyme disease be transmitted sexually?

American Lyme Disease Foundation: Lyme Borreliosis is not Sexually Transmitted [Refuting Raphael Stricker, Marianne Middelveen, and others]

CDC Lyme Testing

Reported Cases of Lyme Disease-United States, 2016 (source: CDC)