THE LONG HISTORY OF LYME DISEASE. The article on the Iceman notes that traces of DNA from the bacterial pathogen Borrelia burgdorferi, which causes Lyme disease in humans, make the Iceman the oldest victim of Lyme Disease on record. This wikipedia article on Lyme disease describes how occurrences of what is now known as Lyme disease can be traced back hundreds of years. Yet: “The full syndrome now known as Lyme disease was not recognized until a cluster of cases originally thought to be juvenile rheumatoid arthritis was identified in three towns in southeastern Connecticut in 1975, including the towns Lyme and Old Lyme, which gave the disease its popular name.” Lyme disease, which has caused so much damage to people we know here in southeastern Connecticut, has been around for thousands of years, but was not “discovered” until some 5300 years after the Iceman suffered from it.

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