Justin Bieber has announced the cancellation of two scheduled concerts in Toronto. He explained: "I have done everything to get better but my illness is getting worse. It breaks my heart but I will have to cancel my next shows on the orders of the doctors." In 2020, Bieber said he had contracted Lyme disease.
The disease owes its name to the American town of the same name in which the first case was described in 1975. In the United States it is one of the most common pathologies linked to the bite of particular types of ticks. Lyme disease is a disease that affects various organs and parts of the body.
It mainly affects the skin, joints, nervous system and internal organs. It can have severe, persistent symptoms and, if left untreated, takes on a chronic course. Symptoms can include fever, fatigue, and muscle aches. The disease originates from a spiral-shaped bacterium, Borrelia burgdorferi, named after its discoverer, Willy Burgdorfer.
The bacterium infests ticks (specifically those of the genus Ixodes), which can in turn transmit it to humans and other animals. The places where it is easier to contract it are the wooded areas. It was initially thought that the natural reservoir was represented by deer, since these animals represent the ideal environment for the reproduction of ticks.
However, subsequent studies show that 90% of ticks come into contact with the spirochete in the nymph phase via the white-footed peromiscus, the striped chipmunk, the ashy shrew, the northern short-tailed shrew. These small mammals represent the most competent reservoirs in the infectious process of the bacterium.
Its incidence is reported in Asia, South America and Central Europe. Some say that Lyme disease is difficult to diagnose because the initial flu-like symptoms resemble those of other common infections. Other than that, some infected patients do not experience the rash.
In addition, many patients often do not remember being bitten by a tick as the sting may go unnoticed, since tick nymphs are so small that patients may not realize they were bitten. In fact, if you are careful observers, whenever you are in the presence of often intermittent arthritis initially localized in the knees that cannot be explained by other diagnoses, it would be advisable to evaluate the hypothesis of Lyme disease.
The US National Health Institutes therefore recommend doctors not to base their diagnosis on whether or not the patient remembers being bitten by a tick, but on the symptoms he experiences (the possible presence of fever helps in this sense) and on the careful exclusion of other pathologies that could have given rise to these symptoms.
Justin Bieber is not the only celebrity from overseas to have shared the experience of Lyme disease: it had already happened to actors Richard Gere, Ben Stiller and Alec Baldwin and to singer Avril Lavigne.
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