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Tracking Lyme Disease

Tick borne Lyme disease is on the move, all the way to Minnesota and Florida now. We’ll track Lyme.

A file photo of a deer tick under a microscope in the entomology lab at the University of Rhode Island in South Kingstown, R.I.  A state insect expert says Ohio is seeing a "shocking" increase in the deer ticks that can carry Lyme disease. (AP)

A file photo of a deer tick under a microscope in the entomology lab at the University of Rhode Island in South Kingstown, R.I. A state insect expert says Ohio is seeing a “shocking” increase in the deer ticks that can carry Lyme disease. (AP)

Tick-borne Lyme disease used to show up in a little fringe of the coastal northeast United States.  A bad disease, but in small terrain.  Small numbers.  Well, look again.  Lyme disease is spreading far and wide.

Across Pennsylvania, into Ohio, southwest Michigan, northern Illinois.  Heavy in Wisconsin, in Minnesota, showing up in North Dakota, even California.  Look south and it’s big in New Jersey, Maryland, northern Virginia.  And creeping beyond.  It’s a story of ticks and deer and foxes and coyotes and birds.  And pain.

This hour, On Point: the big, new national terrain of tick-borne Lyme disease.

-Tom Ashbrook

Guests

Maria Ana Diuk-Wasser, assistant professor of epidemiology at the Yale School of Medicine.

Johan Bakken, infectious-disease expert at St. Luke’s Hospital in Duluth, Minnesota. Co-author of the Lyme disease treatment guidelines for the Infectious Diseases Society of America.

Vicki Buhr, a nurse practitioner at the Mayo Clinic Health System in Eau Claire, Wisconsin. She has been treating Lyme disease patients at her clinic and seen the cases of Lyme disease increasing in recent years.

From Tom’s Reading List

The New York Times “Deer ticks are aptly named, in a sense; a Northeastern deer can carry over 1,000 of these ticks on its body. But as far as humans are concerned, the ticks might be more relevantly called mouse ticks. That’s because white-footed mice and other small mammals, not deer, are now known by scientists to be major carriers of Lyme disease.”

WBUR “The majority of doctors and researchers say Lyme disease is caused by a tick-borne infection called borrelia burgdorferi that is easily treated with a round of antibiotics. But a small group of doctors raise questions about the tests used to diagnose Lyme and say that the infection is persistent, wreaking havoc on people’s bodies.”

You can read more from the WBUR series “Living with Lyme” here.

Centers for Disease Control Check out their interactive maps of the spread of Lyme disease over time.

More

This map released by the Yale School of Public Health on Friday, Feb. 3, 2012 shows a map which indicates areas of the eastern United States where people have the highest risk of contracting Lyme disease based on data from 2004-2007. Researchers dragged sheets of fabric through the woods to snag ticks for the survey. The map shows a clear risk across much of the Northeast, from Maine to northern Virginia. Researchers at Yale University also identified a high-risk region across most of Wisconsin, northern Minnesota and a sliver of northern Illinois. Areas highlighted as "emerging risk" regions include the Illinois-Indiana border, the New York-Vermont border, southwestern Michigan and eastern North Dakota. (AP)

This map released by the Yale School of Public Health on Friday, Feb. 3, 2012 shows a map which indicates areas of the eastern United States where people have the highest risk of contracting Lyme disease based on data from 2004-2007. (AP)

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  • Ellen Dibble

    I hope the researchers are determining what differentiates chronic Lyme from new Lyme.  Does it alter the body so it can’t be eradicated after a certain lag?  Does it alter the body of one set of people and not another set?, at least not in the same way?, people with different microbe populations to begin with, for instance? 
         A couple of years ago, I found a hugely engorged tick on top of my foot inside a sock I’d been wearing a couple of days, and within a few more days I took myself to the doctor, without the bull’s-eye rash, or at least not much, but feeling sort of flattened.  Hard to describe.  I got antibiotics, and there was some test for Lyme, but I was told it wouldn’t reflect Lyme if I had contracted it so recently.  It wouldn’t have had a chance to bloom or something.  

    (Oh, the irony, if it had had a chance to bloom to where it would be picked up by the test, it might also have been too late to effectively treat it.)   

    The doctor called in a prescription for the antibiotics, as I recall, and as I went home, by bicycle, as I do, I stopped by CVS to pick up the prescription.  No, it wasn’t ready.  Well, whatever “it” was, Lyme/tick/feel-free-to-leave-me-here-flat-forever, I didn’t feel up to going two blocks to pick up anything, for any reason, for another week.  But once I had them, the antibiotics stopped the exhaustion almost immediately, and I have had no problems that I attribute to Lyme since.  But then, no test ever showed that I had Lyme.   (Is that called an oxymoron?  If you test positive, you can’t be treated?  If you don’t test positive, we can’t prove you had it — we preempted the growth of the bloom that would allow for diagnosis– but you’ll be treatable?; you’ll be completely cured?)  

    • Ellen Dibble

      Someone could be disabled for decades from Lyme by not acting expeditiously, and this is an argument for resolving the health care/insurance issues ASAP.
          Time is of the essence, it seems, in nipping this Lyme in the bud, as it were.  Think what would happen if someone decides to save themselves the $25 co-pay, or the $100 deductible, knowing the doctor wouldn’t be able to detect Lyme at this stage anyway, and maybe you know you can’t afford the medicine, or the probiotics to counter the antibiotics.  So you tough it out.  And I have read that for some people, it passes, like a mild flu, and the bull’s-eye rash may not develop, and the person thinks he/she has saved themselves maybe $100 and a trip to the doctor and the pharmacy.  
          But then it turns out they have a more or less permanent set of revolving and never relenting ailments that cost our health system hugely, and cost our society hugely in lost human potential.  One person can only lose one set of potentials, but society can lose in multiples of that.  
          It seems to me that public health and down-home economics demand that this kind of care not be a financial decision of the individual, especially with the health availability (and income) inequities we now face.  The government should be able to protect us all from at least the cost to ourselves and to society of inaction.  I think I’m reading that situation right.    

  • Ellen Dibble

    I should add that I read the findings about fox populations being decreased where Lyme has been found to spike, and that foxes control the small mammals that carry the Lyme vectors, but that coyotes do not do a good job of controlling small mammals.  They don’t eat the whole thing; they keep leftovers, something like that.  This makes sense to me, since my tick would have been picked up off the front steps when I reached out for my newspaper, and deer do not frequent my front porch.  Squirrels, mice, yes.  Deer, no.

  • Victor Vito

    As a parent who lives in Wisconsin, this terrifies me.  If you’ve ever seen a tick, they’re tiny.  On top of that, they are extremely hardy.  You can’t easily crush them due to their carapace/exoskeleton.  All the preventative advice seems to be lacking to say the least.

    Has anyone considered some sort of chemical intervention to reduce these pests in the wild?  I wouldn’t suggest this under normal cicumstances, but this problem may be getting out of hand.

    • TFRX

      It’s even worse. Isn’t the ordinary tick (which give me the creeps anyway) much easier to see, and therefore remove easily and quickly, than the deer tick?

      • jefe68

        Yes. The Deer tick is tiny, about the size of a pinhead. By the way the larger tick might also be carrying Lyme as well. My Vet was going on about this when I said removed one of the larger ticks from my dog. He has been vaccinated from Lyme disease but he was tested positive for it. Seems as if the vaccine did keep him from getting very sick.

        I use Frontline on my dog and Deet on myself.

    • darlene

      Victor, I’m with you. We lived in VT where my 5 year old was infected. (at age 3 but we missed it) Hoping to raise more awareness and prevention for families…www.childrenslymenetwork.org.

    • jirohwein

       We have used Damminix tubes on our property and they seem to help:
      http://www.ticktubes.com/?gclid=CKvPtdzy_bACFYsc6wodTRr_fQ

  • http://www.richardsnotes.org Richard

    I’ve had Lyme disease and it’s no picnic if you let it go too long without discovering and dealing with it. I didn’t get to the doctor soon enough (3 weeks) and was on the verge of being hospitalized with symptoms that looked a hell of a lot like meningitis. I never saw a bull’s-eye rash, just slowly felt weaker each day and had no idea why. When I finally went our doctor knew it was Lyme immediately and the blood tests confirmed it but not all doctors are experienced with Lyme and the many ways it presents. In my case Doxycycline took care of it and under normal circumstances if you catch it early enough and get on antibiotics it is quickly cured.

    Lyme presents in such a variety of ways it’s sometimes tough to know what’s going on. My symptoms were “classic” but one could also have a swollen foot and no fever as a result of Lyme disease.

    The controversy over “chronic Lyme” which some in the medical community think is a made up label for a collection of other ailments is worth discussing.

    The movie Under Our Skin attempts to document the chronic Lyme controversy although it does it in a way that feels a bit one sided. There is no doubt that chronic Lyme exists but there are probably many people who have the collection of other, similar ailments who want to use the “Chronic Lyme” label to explain them when in fact they’re different.The related issue is overuse of antibiotics and how it will affect the Lyme spirochete over time.

    It’s both fascinating and a bit scary to watch Lyme spread and when  you couple that with the fact that many Americans get their news and information from a single channel on television* that makes money from presenting information in distorted and overhyped ways (the NIH and CDC are part of “big government”), our ability to recognize and deal with Lyme as a society become problematic.

    *FOX

  • Watertown dweller

    Tom, Please bring up the very covered-up lyme controversy (query “lyme conspiracy plum island” in Google) that it is a human-created weapon of war that got away from its creators, and that is why it is next to impossible to contain. Thank you, it’s important.

    • ulTRAX

      There’s a 2005 book on the federal biological lab on Plum Island called “Lab 257″ by Michael Carrol. It was mentioned in a recent Yankee magazine article.

  • Kjboyd2

    I have a question:  If there are no definitive tests for Lyme, how is it that a doctor could tell my brother that he has Lyme.  This is his first time and he never had a red ring.  He and his dog have it.  He is on antibiotics for 1 week and feels  better already.  Will this occur again> Will he be plagued with this for years to come?

  • Adks12020

    I’m an avid outdoorsman.  I love hiking, biking, etc. and I’ve pulled many a tick off my body over the years with seemingly no problems…until about 2 years ago.  I woke up with a tick fully engorged on me.  Depsite the fact that I’m definitely in the Lyme “danger zone” (eastern upstate New York) I didn’t get tested (I know, dumb). I didn’t have a bulls eye and felt fine for a couple months, plus I knew the test wouldn’t show results for at least a few weeks.  I eventually completely forgot about the tick and then I began to chronic get aches and pains all over my body especially in my joints with spikes every few weeks coupled with lethargy.  It’s continued ever since.  I’m only 30 and in good shape so I was confused as to why I would be feeling something like arthritis.  Turns out lyme can apparently cause those symptoms.  There is really no regularity to it.  It could be a few weeks.  It could be almost 2 months but here and there I still have a week where I simply hurt. 

    Ok, long story but I’ve looked into it and it seems like antibiotics way after the fact aren’t really useful.  Is that true?  If so, I wonder is there anything that can be done or is this just something to deal with? My Advil consumption is a little ridiculous for short periods so I’m curious.

    • Ncyim

      I was undiagnosed for 30+ and almost died until going on doxycycline Nov ’10. Although I had 60 of the 70+ classic symptoms of Lyme i had a difficult time finding a Dr to make the diagnosis. I had to obtain doxy from other sources.  You could also try colloidal silver. Get “Healing Lyme” by Buhner. The Rife Machine is also an excellent tool. 
      I slept for the first 1.5 years – still shaky but getting back on my feet now. Good luck.

    • Dad4twoboys

       After 9 years undiagnosed, 29 months of powerful antibiotics allowed me a 75% recovery.

  • nj_v2

    A good resource in helping to understand some of the natural dynamics (ecology) of blacklegged ticks and Lyme Disease is the book Lyme Disease; The Ecology of a Complex System, by Richard Ostfeld, a Senior Scientist at the Cary Institute for Ecosystem Studies.

  • TM

    Areas of this map showing “low risk” could be misleading to people and might make them think ticks are not an issue for them.  Ticks are everywhere and they are infecting people everywhere.  Lets be sure our information to the public reflects that.

  • darlene mcmahon

    Most people don’t realize. But children are at the greatest risk and make up a quarter of all cases. My 5 year old was infected at age 4 and still struggling to get better. I’ve launched an organization to focus specifically on Lyme Disease and children. The world’s leading pediatric Lyme specialist, Dr. Jones serves as the medical advisor. http://www.childrenslymenetwork.org. 

    • cwh

       Yes, my 10 year old daughter has been treated for Lyme 2x. Sometimes I wonder if she received treatment for as long as she may have needed when I listen to these sorts of shows or read about Chronic Lyme. She was treated for 2 weeks with doxycycline. Our pedi insisted that was the standard protocol but sometimes I wonder…

  • Jade

    I have two friends here in Tennessee with chronic Lyme disease, and another who died from complications of the disease a few years ago. In each case, my friends discovered what was wrong by researching on their own… they had to insist that their doctors test for it. It seems physicians in this area don’t even have it on their radar.

    • Kobi

      Blacklegged ticks are present in Tennessee, but MUCH less common than in the Northeast and upper Midwest (where they have exploded).  The University of Tennessee have been testing blacklegged ticks from all over Tennessee and have not yet reported any positive with the Lyme disease bacteria. 

      The other tickborne diseases like Ehrlichia in the Lone Star ticks are the big risk in TN.

    • Tina

      And I know several people who could not get their doctors to even acknowledge Lyme disease right in the middle of coastal southern New England!  These doctors felt using antibiotics was the greater threat to the general society!  Around here, people refer to the need to find a “Lyme literate doctor”!!

  • Ilau

    The entire country is infested With tick borne diseases one of which is Lyme bacteria.  CDC is still doing surveillance or what I call spot checking for Lyme.  The Lyme bacteria is spreading faster and faster, which is causing thousands of people to become disabled  each year.  Missouri was 8th in the nation for Lyme cases in 1990′s and now only around 20 cases are reported in Missouri each year.  The deer population has exploded and the mid west primary vector is the lone star tick not the deer tick (deer ticks also carry Lyme in the mid west).  Lyme bacteria found in Lone star ticks are now called “Stari ”  but it is still Lyme.  A few years ago there were 357 strains of the Lyme bacteria, but all were called Lyme.  It is like saying cancer  is not cancer because it is not a certain kind of tumor or it’s in the blood.  Educating our doctors is the only way save the us population.  In Germany Horse flies are transmitting Lyme and have been for 40 years; why are American horseflies not transmitting vectors as well.

    Then after we have the doctors recognizing the problem with the devastation Lyme bacteria causes and diagnose patients; we need proper treatment.  Lyme is a spirochete bacteria in form of a spiral. Another spirochete bacteria is Syphilis, which stays in the spiral form. Lyme however can become cyst form like resistant staff after it has burrowed into your tissues and mussels.  Lyme is usually killed by the antibiotics when it is the blood stream in the spiral form.  Only one member of my family had the bulls eye rash with central clearing, they other 7 people never ever had the rash.  The longer you have had the bacteria the harder it is to kill off and the longer treatment is needed.  an early found case may need 3 to 6 months on treatment to get all the bacteria.  My experience has shown if other diseases were contracted during the vector bite, then those other rocky mountain spotted fever or parasitic infections must be treated before the lyme treatment will fully work.

    The big question for me is if Lyme is so rare THEN Why does everyone know of some one who has Lyme, has died from Lyme or has family who is dealing with Lyme.  If your neighbors can have Lyme so can you.

  • Mike in PA

    Great comments below.  I am a deer hunter.  It was a very warm winter in Pennsylvania.  Very few (other than the Game Commission) were warning of an increase in tick borne problems.  The deer that I got (in December) was covered with probably forty ticks.  This was way, way, way, way more ticks then I’ve ever seen on a deer. 

    Always remember that there is nothing wrong with asking your spouse or companion to brush through your hair and check your back and legs after a walk through the woods.

    I do have some questions, but please look at the others below:

    (1) is it true that only the deer tick (small/brown) carries lymes?

    (2) are there any studies that housing development and deforestation for the same has a causal relationship to lyme disease?

    • Dad4twoboys

       http://bioweb.uwlax.edu/bio203/s2008/clarin_bria/

      deer tick image

  • Chief2Joseph7

    It’s in Utah. My husband, daughter, and self all have it. We have met many at the clinic we visit, not only people from Ut. but also from Idaho, Kansas, S.D., and even as far as Canada. I look at it this way, where ever birds fly, and dogs get diagnosed with it, we can get it. So in reality, what state does that leave out?

  • http://gregorycamp.wordpress.com/ Greg Camp

    So how do we keep ticks off?  I use DEET sprays and give myself a thorough going over after being outside, but here in Arkansas, ticks are our third crop, after rocks and poison ivy.

    • TFRX

      “Third crop after rocks and poison ivy.”

      Bonus points for humor.

    • nj_v2

      Repellents (DEET), permethrin insecticide (spray on clothes, not skin), cover up (tuck pants into socks, i even tape up leg openings when working for the day in infested areas), thorough body check at the end of the day (esp. behind knees, crotch, hairline, armpits, ears), hot water shower…

      More info: http://www.tickencounter.org/

      • http://gregorycamp.wordpress.com/ Greg Camp

         Yup, although that much clothing here in the South during the summer (a period that lasts from March through November) has other health problems associated with it.

        • nj_v2

          The lighter-weight synthetic stuff is tolerable. 

  • Eric Cedric

    I am a journalist and recently did a piece of the changing face of wildlife in the Adirondack Park. After speaking with several state and federal wildlife officials, I was informed that the moose population of the Adirondacks, Vermont, New Hampshire and Maine are in danger of extinction due to the “winter tick” moving further and further north.

    I summer at a piece of property on an Adirondack Lake (Cranberry) and now have to check myself and my dog after hiking. I never had to worry about ticks in this part of the world up until a few years ago.

    Not good.

  • Taylorandnewman

    So glad you’re doing this show! Lyme has become a huge problem in our area of the Shenandoah Valley, Virginia. Many people on our small road have been treated for lyme disease. We never worried about lyme disease when I was younger or even 10 years ago. We recently got chickens to eat the deer ticks in our yard. It’s scary because these ticks are so small. They look like little freckles.

  • AC

    i really, really dislike tics. anything that tries to latch on and become part of you is un-welcome….

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Cyndi-Armstrong/704124574 Cyndi Armstrong

    We had a friend diagnosed with MS and was treated for more than 10yrs.  Nothing was working.  FINALLY, they realized it was Lyme disease.  That was in the mid 80s in the Twin Cities.  Once they got the right diagnosis they got her right as rain.  That’s how unknown it was at the time in the medical field.  So glad word is out now but I’m surprised that it’s not in more parts of the country.  

  • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_Y6CO5C2HE4WM2OYGCDVWGPRXXM oldman

    There was a safe, effective vaccine that was discontinued in 2002 due to lack of demand. It sounds like it might be time to check that “demand” part again.

    http://www.cdc.gov/vaccines/vpd-vac/lyme/default.htm

    • Taylorandnewman

       Seriously! It’s getting bad! They will have to do something soon.

    • Manduhai

       The “safe” vaccine causes arthritis in some people.  The FDA required the vaccinations to carry a warning stating this.  We need a vaccine that really is safe.

    • cwh

       Was it really due to low demand or the fact that it didn’t work well. For example, if one were vaccinated why wouldn’t one still be immune? (Per the CDC posting you reference: “People who were previously vaccinated with the LD vaccine are no longer protected.”)

    • TrishM

      Not just lack of demand.  People were getting sick from it.  Lets demand a new, better vaccine!

    • Dad4twoboys

       the vaccine was said to be pulled for lack of demand.. but, in reality, it was causing the disease it was designed to protect against… look it up

      LIMErix Smith/Kline lawsuit

      • Dad4twoboys

         OOPS !!!  LYMErix… brain fog… sorry

  • Brian

    I was diagnosed with lyme disease early, and never had to deal with the downsides of the disease. My question, that I have never gotten a good answer on, is what my risks are for reinfection? Getting accurately diagnosed if I have the markers in my system already?

  • Trish/SLAM

    Map is old 2007!  Seriously!

  • cor508

    Why is there no human vacceene when there is one for dogs?

    • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_Y6CO5C2HE4WM2OYGCDVWGPRXXM oldman

       check about 3 posts down

  • TFRX

    I had two friends get Lyme disease 28 years ago. One was actually an MD, just a doctor in town, who became pretty well versed in it, and then contracted it at random afterwards. Both lived within a few towns of Lyme CT.

    I’d like to hear more about the treatment, if it’s become better and less invasive, in a quarter century.

    • nj_v2

      I grew up near Lyme. No one had even heard of Lyme Disease then (60s/70s). I imagine that the disease might have been active then (in its early stages), but was thought to be some other ailment.

      • TFRX

        Between the Connecticut and the Thames, or Old Saybrook – Guilford?

        • nj_v2

          Between Lyme and New London.

  • Ginny

    Maybe a stupid question, but how do people contract Lyme without noticing the tick in the first place? 

    We found a deer tick stuck to my daughter’s shoulder and I was surprised to learn that because we’d found it and removed it the same day it had attached itself, the probability that she had contracted Lyme dropped to less than zero.  The tick must be attached and sucking for at least 48 hours to even be in the danger zone for transmitting Lyme – how long do ticks attach and then detach?

    • Adks12020

      Ticks secrete a chemical that numbs the bite site so people don’t feel them.  They also don’t always leave the bulls eye mark.  If the tick is somewhere that a person cannot see easily it’s easy to miss…especially during the first day or so.  Many of the ticks people find right away are actually dog ticks or other types of ticks that are much larger than deer ticks.  I’ve definitely checked myself for ticks after a hike then woke up the next day with one on the back of my leg or back that I noticed in the shower. 

      I always have my girlfriend check me after hikes now. When I missed them I was living with guy friends.  I think that would have been a little weird to ask them to search my naked body for ticks..haha.

    • TrishM

      False information. Tick borne disease (TBD) is caused by the bite of a tick.  You must demand preventative course of abx.

    • Dad4twoboys

       Ginny,
      Unfortunately ticks cannot tell “time” & may regurgitate at any given moment. Are you willing to risk a possible infection yourself or of a loved one?. Lyme and associated co-infections robbed 4 years of my life and I am currently about 75% of pre-infected health.
      Ticks can hide under the hairline and in creases cracks and crevices. Tick attachment is certainly not the time to be conservative.

    • jirohwein

      Worth noting, too, that the nymph stage is really tiny (and therefore easy to miss) and more infectious often than then adults

    • shazdancer

      No, it’s a great question. Ticks feed for a couple of days to become fully engorged with blood, then will back out on their own. As they feed, the bacteria in their midgut slowly makes its way into the mouth of the tick and then into you. If left undisturbed, it usually takes about 2 days for this to happen. However, we “disturb” the ticks that feed on us by squeezing them as we move around or remove them improperly. They may respond to this stress by regurgitating their gut contents into you, which is why proper tick removal (squeezing its mouth shut and then pulling it out) is important.

  • Tina

    All this knowledge, yet many doctors refuse to prescribe antibiotics and/or a long enough course of antibiotics.  This becomes even more the case once chronic Lyme sets in, even though chronic Lyme can have severe cognitive complications.  

  • Tina

    I’ve heard that the government was doing experiments on an island in Long Island Sound across from Lyme, CT, and that the disease spread from this laboratory there.  Can you tell us more about this?  

    • jefe68

      No, this is not the fault of the government.
      It’s called Lyme disease because that’s where it was first discovered. 

      • http://HOPE-Connection.com/ Michael Ryan

         jefe68, are you sure about that? There’s a theory (and a book) that it came from Lab 257 on Plum Island (see Lab 257: The Disturbing Story of the
        Government’s Secret Plum Island Germ Laboratory by Michael Christopher
        Carroll….). I wouldn’t say it  was or wasn’t produced by the bio-weapons unit at PI, but it’s worth having an open mind while  we all understand the disease better. Across the water from Lyme is Plum Island, which is the basis of this theory: the scientists on the island were playing with bacteria and viruses and never thought that a bird would take a specimen off a deer, pig, or cow and bring it to the main land. A good summer reading book! But, I wouldn’t outright say, “no, it’s not the fault of the government,” unless you have first-hand evidence of where it originated. Do you?

    • Dad4twoboys
  • Eric Cedric

    I should also mention that with the increase in the tick population here in the Adirondacks, I have seen (and can forward pictures if wanted) of dead bear cubs, and an increase – a huge increase – in the red fox populations.

    Are these shifts in animal populations a residual effect of the tick/Lyme disease issue?

  • Ellen Dibble

    I wonder if Dr. Bakken knows how many people’s immune system have actually beat off the Lyme, versus people who do not.  He told a listener if her body couldn’t fight it off before, she probably couldn’t fight it off another time.
        What research shows people able to fight it?  Could it be that people in New England and Wisconsin have immune systems that don’t fight this well?  
        Do blood tests like ELISA show people who have had Lyme but are not symptomatic, or never were?

  • Peter Harvey

    I missed the beginning of the program. Is Lyme Disease really new, or just newly (40 years) recognized? I’ve read that it has been around for thousands of years. What is new?

  • Meg

    I’m in northern Vermont and you can’t come indoors from a walk in the woods or fields in the Spring time without being covered with the tiny deer tick. You have to check your whole body and head, neck, everywhere to be sure they haven’t jumped on to you. 

  • Jake

    is there any data on the percentage of deer ticks that carry Lyme and the likelihood of becoming infected if one is bitten by a deer tick? 

    • shazdancer

      It depends on where you live. There are more infected ticks in some parts of the country more than others, in some towns more than others, and in some parts of some towns more than others, according to tick studies.

      In general in New England, you will find higher infection rates along the coast and along inland waterways (migrating birds heading upriver spread ticks).

  • http://gregorycamp.wordpress.com/ Greg Camp

    Let’s spread that lizard. . .

  • http://www.facebook.com/kathy.boudreau Kathy Boudreau

    I live in middle Tennessee and Lyme Disease is possible here! I had a tick embedded behind my ear and didn’t realize what it was until too late–tested positive for Lyme Disease.

  • Larry

    My now 12-year-old son was diagnosed and treated for Lyme about 7 years ago.  We thought he had strep that was developing into scarlet fever.  Positive strep test and started antibiotics.  The MD also tested for Lyme and we later received a call from the health departement of a positive Lyme titer, so continued antibiotics for several additional weeks.
    The doctor negatively compared Lyme with syphilis.

  • http://www.stockschatz.com/ Bob

    My Italian Greyhound just tested positive for Lyme and is very ill. We live in Nashville, TN and please warn all about your pets.

  • Lloyd Parlee

    What about the vaccine that was available for Lyme disease years ago but discontinued? I think people believed it caused other problems kind of like the vaccine controversy today and the company that manufactured couldn’t make a profit so it was shelved.

  • Jason

    What is the etiology of Lyme?

    • http://HOPE-Connection.com/ Michael Ryan

       Great question. This seems to not be discussed in public. I would enjoy hearing the answer and encourage others to ask this, as well.

    • shazdancer

      Lyme is caused by several species and multiple strains of the bacteria Borrelia burgdorferi. This bacterium is a spirochete (so is syphilis), and has been shown to outrun the fastest-moving antibody cells in our bodies. It also has been shown to bore through cell walls, evading antibodies in the blood. It has been observed forming biofilm colonies, and changing into non-motile cysts. All these strategies may point to why this disease is sometimes difficult to erradicate. 

  • Steve F

    Hi Tom -

    In 2007, I became overtaken by what began as debilitating fatigue, but then evolved over the course of a few months to include a symptomatic presentation of abdominal pain, testicular pain, a heart racing thru the nite at 170 bpm for hours on end, heart palpitations, fevers, chest pain, vertigo, cognitive confusion and worst of all – panic attacks which would last for 2 hours at a time, and sometimes happen more than once a day. I was turned away as having anxiety at one of Boston’s best hospitals, a respected medical organization in Cambridge, and over 10 doctors in all.  For over 3 months I spent 3 to 4 hours a day attempting to find a diagnosis, and it wasn’t until I went to see a Naturopathic doctor in Portsmouth NH, spent $2,000 of my own money on out of coverage visits and western blot tests with a speicfic lab in California did I get a postive diagnosis.   Four years of intense antibiotic and herbal therapy later, I am finally a “normal” persona again, able to run half marathons and live a normal life, but not only the physical – but the emotional impact of Lyme – medical community, family members and friends who either do not understand or acknowledge the severity of this disease – is difficult to convery indeed.

    • Linda C

      I also suffer from chronic lyme–I would love to know what antibiotics treatments you have used — the dosage and for how long? Also the herbal treatments used? I have been ill since 2009 and have gone through treatments and get symptoms rearing up when I go off the antibiotics. My email cg9297@cox.net

      thanks, Linda

    • Thaiadora

      Here is a story similar to yours, along with facts about lyme to teach the reader what he/she needs to know.  highly suggested for the person newly diagnosed or one with lyme who doesn’t want to feel so alone or to give to someone to help them understand what it really is about. http://www.lulu.com/content/paperback-book/whats-the-big-deal-about-lyme/12904194

  • katesq

    A few years ago, one of the major pharma companies came out with a vaccine for Lyme disease. My understanding is that it reacted negatively in humans. What was the story with that and is there another vaccine being developed?

    • pjchooch

      I read it worked, but came out at the same time the hysteria started about vaccines in children (Down’s Syndrome).  That coupled with low demand led to it going off the market.

      Couple we please get a comment from your experts on this?

      • cwh

         Downs Syndrome? Are you sure you don’t mean autism? That’s the big concern I’ve heard of associated with childhood vaccination — specifically the MMR vaccine.

        • pjchooch

          Oops, yes, that is the hysteria I was referring to.  (Commenting while working… haste makes waste.)

          They did just comment about the vaccine on the program.

          • Anonymous

            Not hysteria if you have a child who has reacted to the vastly increased immunization schedule combined with heavy metal preservatives to save pharma money with multi-dose vials.  The best study is the Amish community.  Only one case of autism – they do not believe in vaccines – and it was in a hemophiliac child.  See the educational work of Alan Phillips, JD in Chapel Hill, NC.  Ask the physician couple who litigated this when their daughter was affected.  Are children being tested for the mitochondrial disorder mentioned in the case before being vaccinated.  Wise up.

    • shazdancer

      Glaxo Smith Kline had developed Lymerix, which was offered for about 3 years. (Another company had developed a similar vaccine, but did not bring it to market.) GSK said they pulled the vaccine due to “poor sales.” But sales were poor because the vaccine was expensive, had only an 80% success rate, needed booster shots, and did not confer lifelong immunity. (Not to mention it did nothing for co-infections.) In addition, there were reports (and pending litigation) that some patients were getting arthritis (possibly autoimmune) from the vaccine, and others were coming down with full-blown Lyme from it (possibly due to latent infections becoming active).

  • Karen Zimmer127

    could you comment on the role of invasives like Japanese barberry which has been shown to increase the number of deer ticks in CT and also the rate of lyme disease in those ticks?  Are there other invasive species that harbor hosts in the places where it is increasing?

    • cwh

       That’s fascinating. How does this plant help the tick? I’ve never heard of this.

      • shazdancer

        Japanese barberry provides a moist environment (shade and no other plants underneath) and mouse habitat, both of which help ticks proliferate. Pachysandra also does this, among others. The other problem with invasives is that they crowd out native plants and reduce plant diversity. That reduces the diversity of animals that would have fed on those plants and on each other. When ticks feed on a variety of animals, some of the animals don’t sustain Lyme, so the rate of Lyme-infected ticks is reduced. See the work of Ostfeld and the Cary Institute for more info.

  • Janie

    Your guests seem to be talking more about non-Lyme-related tics (like the Lone Star tic) and other non-Lyme rashes than about Lyme Disease. Can you get the discussion back on topic?

    • Kobi

      The focus of this show is how fast and far Lyme disease is spreading across the U.S.

      So the non-Lyme ticks and non-Lyme rashes are definitely “on topic”, because that’s what’s leading the folk in some regions to (mistakenly) believe that Lyme disease has arrived in their area.

  • Steve

    I would also like to mention that I never had the “bull’s eye rash”, never remember a tick bite…  and did an Elisa test at an “in-network” doctor…  The test which came up negative.  It wasn’t until I did 2 Western Blots that I received my diagnosis. Lastly – I appreciate the emphasis of “co-infections”.  I also havehad Bartonella, which is yet another TBD, along the lines of babesia and ehrlichliosis.

  • Trish/SLAM

    “Monitor Edges of this map?”  Seriously.  This map is 5 years old, not current and to tell people there are very few ticks in areas of this map that are considered hot spots is so wrong to say the least!  CDC and Infectious Disease Society of America should be actively studying and researching this data so they will not longe claim “there is NO data.”  Thank goodness other organization do have “data” and are actively working to bring positive change.  http://www.lymedisease.org; wwwtbdalliance.org; http://www.S-L-A-M.org

  • Ellen Dibble

    Do stats show how many were more or less preemptively and successfully treated with doxycycline, before the body kicked up enough antibody for ELISA to register it?  Do doctors report that?  Patient was cured, whatever it was?  Or not?

  • Guyz

    MS and Lyme Disease have been linked geographically.  Just curious as to what research has been done on this subject?

    Guy 

  • http://gregorycamp.wordpress.com/ Greg Camp

    Guinea fowl are supposed to be good for eliminating ticks from a piece of land.

    • http://www.richardsnotes.org Richard

      They are, but of course, foxes, fishers, and other animals are good for eliminating Guinea fowl from same land…

  • Ellen Dibble

    Are western blot and ELISA tests done on healthy people to see if they have been infected and, like the lizards in California, have successfully routed the pathogen?  I’d suppose researchers would want to know.

  • Brian

    There’s also some good science from the invasive species field that indicates that deer tick populations can increase 10 fold in areas with a highly infested understory of honeysuckle, buckthorn, wild rose, barberry, etc.

  • Linda

    I’d like to hear thoughts on the lack of medical insurance to support treatment for Lyme disease, as well as the differences of opinion regarding whether or not chronic Lyme disease exists.

  • Pete

    I’m wondering the doctors’ opinion on what is the most effective treatment for Lyme. Doxycycline, but in what dose and for how long? I know this is a controversial topic so I’d like to know their thoughts.

  • Ellen Dibble

    It seems to me if the tick is hanging on, it might not be so dangerous.  My tick was immobilized, fat and happy, like a couch potato, sitting on my foot.  GROSS!  It had been there long enough.  No, it hadn’t itched or hurt, or I would have looked inside those socks the day or so before.  It more or less fell off, with a tissue, and I did not want it on me, or anywhere.

    • shazdancer

      Ellen, what you describing sounds like an engorged tick. It had fully fed on your blood, which is why it was so bloated. While it feeds, its gut contents make their way into your bloodstream. If the tick was infected, now you may be infected.

  • Trish/SLAM

    epidemic numbers of sick here in MA and still CDC not offering better testing.  Old information/maps do not help in sharing information with the general public.  Tick borne diseases are everywhere and people need to insist on better testing and better environment for our physicians to be able to treat.  In MA not enough treating docs and many have to go out of state for care.  The financial cost to families is way too high often forcing families to choose paying bills vs. paying for meds.  IDSA treatment guidelines are outdated and need to be updated to better serve the public.

  • Pete

    Specifically, treatment for Lyme in the early stage.

  • Marianne Mineo

    Can you comment on negative lyme titers and later stage Lyme?  I live on the eastern end of Long Island.  For the last 5 years I have removed between 20 and 30 deer or lone star ticks/year.  Many of these are nymphs.  Four years ago, I developed a head tremor and for a 2 week period had an unusual ptosis of my right eyelid which resolved.  I was worked up for MS and was negative.  Shortly after these neurological symptoms, I developed a supra ventricular tachycardia which was present for 6 months, then spontaneously disappeared.  It started up again after a year and a half again, completely out of the blue.  I have been worked up by a cardiologist and there is no underlying heart disease.  I have had a number of Lyme screening tests and my antibody titer is always negative.  Can there be false negatives in later stage Lyme?  Are there other tests that can be done?  Thanks very much.
    Marianne Mineo

    • Anonymous

      Diagnostic tests have 40% failure rate for the “gold standard” Western blot – and other complications.
      Clinical diagnosis should trump in these circumstances,
      just the way it needed to during the H1N1 outbreak my husband died in because of a 40% failure rate in the diagnostic test.  He was in the 40% and didn’t get treatment because of it.  Learn history’s lessons especially in medicine, or people are harmed as we are destined to repeat their losses.

  • http://HOPE-Connection.com/ Michael Ryan

    I see many many cases of this as a horrific disease, with recurring symptoms, through my work at a hyperbaric oxygen (hbo) center in Boston (HOPE-Connection.com). Recurring symptoms of Lyme are very common, and the mainstream medical tact is to flood the body with chemicals. Relief with hbo occurs through pumping the body with 100% oxygen under pressure (in a chamber), which compared to flooding the body with Doxycycline and other drugs, increases the body’s immune system strength and ability to fight (and relieve joint pain, rheumatoid arthritis symptoms, and decreases fatigue and headaches), with no side-effects. No matter what, talk to a Lyme-literate doctor, visit websites like HOPE-Connection, and seek advice from others in Lyme support groups in your area. Also, mainstream doctors may not be willing to diagnosis the patient with Lyme but with Fibromyalgia, ALS, or MS, due to not being familiar enough with Lyme to know the difference. It’s trial and error by the doctor, so the first step should be to speak with a Lyme literate doctor. I am taken aback by doctors’ assertions that a 3-week cycle of Doxycycline can eradicate the disease, when we know from research this is not the case. (I believe that a Boston-based medical school is engaged in a study, now, to show that once you have been bitten by a tick with Lyme and the bacteria is in your system, that bacteria will always remain in your system.) I’m grateful for WBUR.org’s coverage of this all last week, and for today’s discussion. 

    • Mrlongleg1962

      I had Lyme 3 year ago – it was the worst disease I ever had. Got treated for three weeks with Doxycycline and am completely free of symptoms since then. So I believe it is possible to treat it if you can catch it in time.

      • Ellen Dibble

        I would like to know what the Boston-based medical school study comes up with, though.  I too was cured with three weeks of Doxycycline, but I’m thinking I had chicken pox, and decades later I had shingles.  And the doctors told me that you only have shingles once, so.  But now they say the opposite, that shingles can keep coming back.  Maybe bergdorfia or whatever the Lyme pathogen is called stays in your system forever, and so what, if it is not going to hurt you.

        • Anonymous

          Immune system goes down, shingles appears from the dormant chicken pox.

          Immune system goes down, symptoms appear and progress from the initial borrelia exposure.

          This happened to me, and many others.

          Use the comparison to syphillis, another spirochete. 

          Scary to think of; worse to experience.

    • jefe68

      It’s a bacteria, not a virus. Doxycycline will kill the bacteria if it’s caught in time. Oxygen to my knowledge has no ability to kill bacteria.   

      • Anonymous

        Do your research, and gain the knowledge.  http://www.ilads.org
        Dr. Burrascano protocol.
        My case:  I had doxycycline immediately for 10 days after bull’s eye rash.  However, I am now in serious tertiary neuroborrelliosis.   

        • jefe68

          I’m sorry for your condition. It does manifest itself in different ways and people do have different immune systems. I would suspect you might have had been bitten and the rash turned up well after the bite. From what I know about this the first 72 hours are crucial. After that the chances of getting Lyme disease goes up.
          I was bitten by a tick two years ago and I made sure to get doxycycline in 72 hours. From what I understand if you wait longer than 72 hours the chances of doxycycline not working at all are increased.

          I found this on the site you linked to:
          In general, you can think of LB as having three categories: acute, early disseminated, and chronic. The sooner treatment is begun after the start of the infection, the higher the success rate.

          I guess it really does come down to getting treatment a fast as one can. Which seems to be the issue in most cases.

          I was commenting on the use of oxygen as form of treatment for Lyme disease and not on people whom have had bad results from the treatment not working.
          Nothing is 100%, nothing. I’m sorry for your health problems, I really am but to me this speaks more to the issue of getting a vaccine out to prevent more people from going through what you are.

    • http://HOPE-Connection.com/ Michael Ryan

       Here’s the reference to the study mentioned at the bottom of the comment I made earlier. See clinical trials website http://clinicaltrials.gov/ct2/show/NCT01143558

  • Josie

    We were advised to swab liquid soap on an embedded tick to make removal easier. Next time we found one, we tried it and it worked. Then we learned it is a bad idea because the soap will make the tick regurgitate and sure enough, my husband caught Lyme disease from that tick. He appears to have been successfully treated (for only 14 days…), but we want to pass along DO NOT USE THIS METHOD!

  • Shelley

    I live in Vermont and was bitten by a deer tick on June 10th.  I watched to see if the rash or symptoms appeared – nothing until two weeks later when a growing rash appeared – no symptoms.  Now I’m on doxycycline.  But my question is:  If you are bitten by a lyme infected tick, for those who remain completely asymptomatic, can the physical symptoms appear months or years later?

    • Joanne187

      Yes, I didn’t realize I had lymes for two years and when I did it hit me hard!

    • Strumma

      Yes – did for me though I don’t know how many months or years it was, then very subtle aches for several years – then peripheral neuropathy which I’ve had for almost 2 years despite treatment.  Shelley, take that tick bite VERY seriously.  A LLMD would likely treat you for 30 days with 200 mg doxy twice a day.  There will NEVER be an easier time to eridicate the Lyme bacteria from your body.

  • in VA

    The North Carolina caller who’s daughter is sick could have parvo virus B19, also called 5th disease.

    • Uncmom59

      I am from NC, and prominent ID researcher and physician @ Baptist Hospital told me of his encounter with the CDC over ten years ago on this issue.  He had a patient with lyme disease, and was told “we don’t have this in NC”.  He produced the tick which contained the borrelia. 

      I have tertiary neuroborreliosis (neurological lyme) because of this misinformation.  It has lead to much harm in this state, discrimination against patients and highly respected doctors who have had to leave the state to get/give treatment.

      • GeorgiaLymeDiseaseAssociation

        You are exactly right, Uncmom59.  Please contact me at our website.

         I contracted Lyme disease in my Georgia back yard 20 years ago with no travel history.  5 positive tests and two additional PCR tests.  We hear from thousands of patients in the Southeastern USA with Lyme disease and we have for 20 years, but their cases aren’t reported because different, restrictive surveillance practices are used here.  In the NE, it’s estimated that 70% of reported cases are RASHES alone, no positive test or tick bite needed.  Here in most SE USA states, rashes are not counted as cases. 

        The Lyme epidemic in the South has been ignored for decades, doctors are told they cannot have Lyme cases and are discouraged from even testing patients (which makes NO sense, when more Lyme borrelia species and strains have been identified in the SE USA than in any other region of the country).  Lyme borrelia have been documented in thousands of tick and animal specimens from across the SE USA.  why wouldn’t they be in humans and why wouldn’t health officials encourage doctors to look for them so that cases could be diagnosed and treated in early onset when treatment is far more effective?

         

  • Kate Schubart

    From Vermont, where the disease is being tracked as more and more deer tick carry it:

    I have heard that people who are treated get over the disease itself, but I also know people with very long-term effects. Is it that auto-immune responses, which vary from person to person, account for the wide range of long-term problems?

    Kate, Hinesburg, VT

  • http://gregorycamp.wordpress.com/ Greg Camp

    Once again, the tinfoil hat crowd killed a good vaccine.

    • Ellen Dibble

      That “crowd” was two practitioners, as I heard it, accounting for 100 out of 120 complaints of side effects from 2000 to 2002.  I didn’t hear exactly what the side effects were, or whether those vaccinated with PCR were healthy hunters or ailing seniors wanting to continue gardening near the woods, or what.  
       
      And we should all take note that the threat of lawsuits apparently didn’t counterbalance what I’ll call the demand.  People who have very common problems have a much better shot at getting the appropriate care they need if their need-cohort is sizable enough to make it “worth it” to the pharmaceutical industry.  Glaxos Smith Kline and one other I heard, Mario or something like that. Apparently the vaccine will resurface when the epidemic is broad enough.  Meanwhile, we have steroids that, as the poster above noted, are known to “dampen immune response.”  As I understand it, that dampening can be a couple decades later, which would dampen the profitability of a pharmaceutical company in terms of its stock returns, so steroids will probably proliferate wherever doctors can be persuaded to use them

      • http://twitter.com/CurtNickisch Curt Nickisch

        Ellen, it’s true that the medical need for a Lyme vaccine has only gotten greater, but many experts don’t expect a Lyme vaccine anytime soon.

        That’s partly because some of the activists that fought the first vaccine are promising to fight the introduction of any new vaccine.

        See here my radio story on why your dog can get vaccinated against Lyme disease and you can’t:

        http://www.wbur.org/2012/06/27/lyme-vaccine

        • Kestral

          I would like to point out that my puppy got the Lyme vaccine, and has been on Frontline her whole life, but STILL tested positive for Lyme at her last checkup.  VERY discouraging. In my neighborhood in central Vermont, among my immediate neighbors, every single household has had a case of Lyme disease in both humans and their dogs.  Is anyone paying attention to this?  It is a very, very serious problem.

        • SStatlende

          Curt,

          You failed to do your homework. If you had, it would have resulted in a very reflected in a very different report on the debacle that was Lymerix. It is patently unfair to dismiss concerns about this vaccine as being due to anti-vaccine activism. Your article lacked balance. For more informed, balanced reporting on the Lymerix vaccine, I recommend Pamela Weintraub’s award winning “Cure Unknown: Inside the Lyme Epidemic.” Remember, those who fail to learn history are destined to repeat it. Let’s learn constructive lessons, not current spin.

    • Trish/SLAM

      Not a good vaccine!

      • http://gregorycamp.wordpress.com/ Greg Camp

         What’s wrong with a vaccine that offers significant protection against a disease like this?

  • Trish/SLAM

    Being a person once completely paralyzed and unable to speak due to TBD’s this program is disturbing to say the least.  I am now a legislative advocate and run a support group. 
    Old map, ongoing same old misinformation from the panel will result in ‘more of the same’ for those affected. 

    Please learn all you can and don’t take steroids.  Steroids will offer temporary relief but will “dampen immune response.” Only a LLMD (Lyme Literate MD) will fully understand this disease and can work to help you find remission.  When you have cancer you find a cancer specialist!  When you have Lyme and (TBD’s) you must find a Lyme specialist.  find a LLMD near you http://www.lymediseaseassociation.org 

    • Missizjoe

      Trish,
      My son has been given steroids because the Lyme has trashed his adrenal system.  His doctor (who is an LLMD) says he is giving him a physiological dose, not a pharmacological one, to strength the adrenals.  My son has more breathing issues when he is not on them.  Ugh, this is all so very confusing….

      • Trish/SLAM

        I also have to take low dose Hydrocortisone due to severe adrenal fatigue.  Not prednisone and monitored closely by LLMD.  Best…

  • Mcsdoughty

    Is there any other insect bite that would cause the bull’s eye rash?

    • Graham Hickling

      The bite of the Lone Star tick (not an insect) will occasionally produce rashes that cannot be distinguished from the classic Lyme disease rash, but which are NOT being caused by the Lyme disease pathogen Borrelia burgdorferi. 

      The related bacteria Borrelia lonestari was for a time another suspect for these these ‘STARI’ rashes , but that hypothesis has not held up to more recent investigations.  The etiology of STARI rashes consequently remains unknown, and may be a hypersensitivity reaction rather than a disease organism.

      The bite of the Brown Recluse spider (also not an insect) is sometimes mistaken for a Lyme Disease rash (and visa versa) but this rash is not usually a classic “bullseye”.

      • GeorgiaLymeDiseaseAssociation

        Claiming
        the rash following a lone star tick bite “may be a hypersensitivity reaction
        rather than a disease organism’ is irresponsible and misleading when there is published
        evidence indicating these rashes are caused by an infectious agent.  The illness following lone star tick
        associated rashes has symptoms identical to Lyme disease and it responds to
        antibiotic treatment. Additionally, no data exists supporting the assertion
        that rashes (EM) follow lone star tick bites only “occasionally”, because so-called
        STARI isn’t reportable. True prevalence is unknown.   In one
        small neighborhood in a single spring, nine Georgians presented with erythema
        migrans following tick bites.  Thousands
        of people across the South report they’ve contracted Lyme disease and the tick
        that most commonly bites humans here is the lone star tick, yet this epidemic
        is largely ignored.   Dangerous assumptions asserted as fact create confusion
        and may cause millions of people to go untreated for a potentially serious,
        debilitating disease.Lyme Borrelia
        have been identified in lone star ticks. I have personally witnessed three
        patients who contracted Lyme disease from lone stars (species verified by a
        scientist).  Dr. Ed Masters studied and treated
        over a thousand cases of Lyme disease following lone star bites in Missouri. Read
        the book, Cure Unknown, Chapter 28, for Masters’ account of the CDC’s troubling
        behavior.  Reportedly, they changed study
        cutoff dates and didn’t report evidence that could have helped millions of
        people. Not only did many of Masters’ patients test positive for Lyme disease,
        spirochetes from patient tissue samples were visualized under the microscope. Still,
        the CDC refused to call this Lyme disease because the spirochete could not be
        cultured, (although a published CDC study stated that many Lyme Borrelia genotypes
        are nonculturable). Despite some
        “authorities” claims that “STARI” is “mild”, there are no long-term, broad-scale
        studies proving this.  The “it’s mild”
        rumor may cause doctors to assume patients with EM don’t require treatment, missing
        the critical early opportunity to treat Lyme disease.  Ed Masters’ patients had symptoms identical to
        Lyme…devastating, serious symptoms.  Instead of investigating further, authorities
        claimed “it’s not Lyme disease” and named it the unreportable “Southern Tick
        Associated Rash Illness” or “STARI.”  (Ridiculous
        to call it Southern anything, since the first two cases of EM illness vectored
        by lone star ticks, Amblyomma americanum, were documented in New Jersey in 1984
        suggesting much of what was originally published about Lyme disease was probably
        lone star tick-vectored.)   Meanwhile, for decades, thousands of cases
        across the South with EM, compatible symptoms and positive Lyme tests have been
        dismissed as “not Lyme disease.”  Patients
        are often denied treatment; some are even denied a test. Unproven
        information asserted as fact, denial and ignorance of published evidence and
        flawed studies (including the new Lyme disease risk map which was based on
        testing a total of NINE ticks from a few Southeastern states) potentially harm
        millions of people who cannot obtain diagnosis and treatment because “experts”
        using “the world is flat” mentality continue to claim and convince medical providers
        that Lyme disease is rare in the Southeastern USA.  Very different reporting practices employed
        in Southeastern states now make it appear as if Lyme disease is rare.  In 1989 Georgia was 4th highest in
        the nation with 715 CDC-reported Lyme cases and the CDC identified 26 Georgia
        counties with native cases.  Using
        restricted surveillance criteria, Georgia was only able to report 10 cases in
        2010.More species
        (7) and strains (hundreds) of Lyme disease bacteria have been documented in the
        Southeastern USA than in any region of the country.  Many of these are newly discovered.  In Europe, 3-4 Borrelia burgdorferi sensu lato
        (Bbsl) species are known to cause human illness, yet it’s still called “Lyme
        disease.”  To assume a single species is
        causing disease in North America is beyond naive.  In other countries, when western blot
        criteria are changed to detect regional Bbsl strains, Lyme tests detect more
        cases.  In 1999, Felz et al. concluded
        that the Southeastern USA needs its own Lyme disease testing system.  Over a decade later, we still await the
        development of those tests and funding to study regional tickborne pathogens.  Meanwhile, unproven assertions continue to be
        made while thousands of shunned Southerners suffer with undiagnosed, untreated,
        unexplained Lyme-like illness. 

        Claiming
        the rash following a lone star tick bite “may be a hypersensitivity reaction
        rather than a disease organism’ is irresponsible and misleading when there is published
        evidence indicating these rashes are caused by an infectious agent.  The illness following lone star tick
        associated rashes has symptoms identical to Lyme disease and it responds to
        antibiotic treatment. Additionally, no data exists supporting the assertion
        that rashes (EM) follow lone star tick bites only “occasionally”, because so-called
        STARI isn’t reportable. True prevalence is unknown.   In one
        small neighborhood in a single spring, nine Georgians presented with erythema
        migrans following tick bites.  Thousands
        of people across the South report they’ve contracted Lyme disease and the tick
        that most commonly bites humans here is the lone star tick, yet this epidemic
        is largely ignored.   Dangerous assumptions asserted as fact create confusion
        and may cause millions of people to go untreated for a potentially serious,
        debilitating disease.
        Lyme Borrelia
        have been identified in lone star ticks. I have personally witnessed three
        patients who contracted Lyme disease from lone stars (species verified by a
        scientist).  Dr. Ed Masters studied and treated
        over a thousand cases of Lyme disease following lone star bites in Missouri. Read
        the book, Cure Unknown, Chapter 28, for Masters’ account of the CDC’s troubling
        behavior.  Reportedly, they changed study
        cutoff dates and didn’t report evidence that could have helped millions of
        people. Not only did many of Masters’ patients test positive for Lyme disease,
        spirochetes from patient tissue samples were visualized under the microscope. Still,
        the CDC refused to call this Lyme disease because the spirochete could not be
        cultured, (although a published CDC study stated that many Lyme Borrelia genotypes
        are nonculturable).
        Despite some
        “authorities” claims that “STARI” is “mild”, there are no long-term, broad-scale
        studies proving this.  The “it’s mild”
        rumor may cause doctors to assume patients with EM don’t require treatment, missing
        the critical early opportunity to treat Lyme disease.  Ed Masters’ patients had symptoms identical to
        Lyme…devastating, serious symptoms.  Instead of investigating further, authorities
        claimed “it’s not Lyme disease” and named it the unreportable “Southern Tick
        Associated Rash Illness” or “STARI.”  (Ridiculous
        to call it Southern anything, since the first two cases of EM illness vectored
        by lone star ticks, Amblyomma americanum, were documented in New Jersey in 1984
        suggesting much of what was originally published about Lyme disease was probably
        lone star tick-vectored.)   Meanwhile, for decades, thousands of cases
        across the South with EM, compatible symptoms and positive Lyme tests have been
        dismissed as “not Lyme disease.”  Patients
        are often denied treatment; some are even denied a test.
        Unproven
        information asserted as fact, denial and ignorance of published evidence and
        flawed studies (including the new Lyme disease risk map which was based on
        testing a total of NINE ticks from a few Southeastern states) potentially harm
        millions of people who cannot obtain diagnosis and treatment because “experts”
        using “the world is flat” mentality continue to claim and convince medical providers
        that Lyme disease is rare in the Southeastern USA.  Very different reporting practices employed
        in Southeastern states now make it appear as if Lyme disease is rare.  In 1989 Georgia was 4th highest in
        the nation with 715 CDC-reported Lyme cases and the CDC identified 26 Georgia
        counties with native cases.  Using
        restricted surveillance criteria, Georgia was only able to report 10 cases in
        2010.
        More species
        (7) and strains (hundreds) of Lyme disease bacteria have been documented in the
        Southeastern USA than in any region of the country.  Many of these are newly discovered.  In Europe, 3-4 Borrelia burgdorferi sensu lato
        (Bbsl) species are known to cause human illness, yet it’s still called “Lyme
        disease.”  To assume a single species is
        causing disease in North America is beyond naive.  In other countries, when western blot
        criteria are changed to detect regional Bbsl strains, Lyme tests detect more
        cases.  In 1999, Felz et al. concluded
        that the Southeastern USA needs its own Lyme disease testing system.  Over a decade later, we still await the
        development of those tests and funding to study regional tickborne pathogens.  Meanwhile, unproven assertions continue to be
        made while thousands of shunned Southerners suffer with undiagnosed, untreated,
        unexplained Lyme-like illness. 

  • Richard Longland

    The show today missed many crucial points: 

    (1) Borrelia has many phenotypes (forms) that can evade the immune system and
    antibiotics; create biofilms, invades human host cells, etc. (2) Culture-based
    diagnostics is a 150 year old technology that detects only up to 5% of all
    bacteria (3) In Connecticut, one study showed that 84% of all ticks
    carry co-infections (4) Borrelia has been found in many different vectors; e.g.
    mosquito larvae, robins, squirrels, etc. (5) Prednisone is NOT a diagnostic
    measure, removes inflammation, suppresses the immune system and drives Lyme
    disease deeper (6) Antibiotics only address 99% of most planktonic bacteria,
    it does not address biofilms or intracellular bacteria (7) Doxycycline’s
    effectiveness is quite limited; inappropriate dosing can drive Borellia deeper
    in the human host or cause Borellia bacteria to change forms (cysts). (7)
    Borellia transmission into the human host has been documented to take less than
    one hour.

    Please, WBUR, invite more informed
    researchers and doctors to your show. And look for my film next month which
    explores these topics in depth: Why Am I Still Sick? Happy to share the documentary with the WBUR staff.

    Richard Longland, Founder
    The Arthroplasty Patient Foundation

    whyamistillsick.com
    biofilmcommunity.org
    arthropatient.org

    • Ellen Dibble

      I’m curious what you think about the caller who said something about the standard of care being (in that location) to give ONE dose of Doxycycline and then wait a month to see if any other symptoms surfaced.  You mention “inappropriate dosing.”  Generally, single doses of antibiotics are discouraged, I believe.

      Thanks for posting.

      • Richard Longland

        Ellen, I’ve learned that there is no standard of care for diagnosing and treating chronic bacterial infections. Period. 

        Single dosing, sub-MIC dosing or anything akin to that is useless and may actually make things worse (driving Bb into different forms or deeper). 

        Also not mentioned: there are hundreds of strains of Borrelia which present other challenges:

        - culture assays in testing are not regionalized for the patient’s location (Igenix does match);

        - some strains present symptoms differently. For example, some strains may have more proclivity for kip/knee joints and spine;

        - certain strains may be more difficult to eradicate for a slew of reasons.

        Ignoring and suppressing this medical information is reprehensible. It is so sad that lies and myths continue with this terrible disease.

  • Tlcmem

    My name is Maryann I live in Toms River New Jersey. Never
    did I ever think that Lymes can affect a person as it did me. Doctors will not
    treat you; they will give you antibiotics for a few weeks and tell you that you
    will be fine. If I didn’t push the issue I don’t know where I would be today. I
    am so Blessed that I did find a Doctor in Jackson that does understand Lymes
    and am now getting the treatment that I need. Not to mention that the protocol
    that our government will not change. We as patients of Lymes and our families
    need to fight this and have the government see it as a cancer, or an aides patient.
    Having Lymes I lost my jobs I worked one full time and a part time. I have four
    grandkids that I use to run with them jump and play marco polo in the pool with
    them now I cannot get into the pool. Some days I cannot even get up. Please if
    there is anyone near Toms River that has an organization to fight this please
    contact me I want this to change. I cannot image a child suffering as I am.

    • Farmgal46

       Please understand I am not criticizing, but it is LYME DISEASE, not Lymes Disease.

  • Carol Dwyer

    The book “Lab 257: the disturbing story of the government’s secret Plum Island germ laboratory ” (copywrite 2004)  by Michael Christopher Carroll provides evidence that experiments at this lab located on a small island off the tip of Plum Island in NY, were likely the origin  of Lyme Disease – which was first identified in Lyme CT on the other side of Long Island Sound from this Lab.

    • The_Tick

      Carol,
      With all due respect, Lyme disease bacteria have been found in small mammal specimens from the U.S. going back to the turn of the century.  Similar spirochetes are also found in Europe, did we release them there as well? Reports of Erythema Chronicum Migrans disease were also common in many different areas other than around the Northeastern US prior to the medical “discovery” of Lyme disease in the late 70′s and early 80′s. The conspiracy theory about Plum Island makes for great entertainment, but it’s just not scientifically correct.

      • NNPT02

        Those who understand Borrelia are aware it is not a new bacterium. Evidence of the bacterium was recently found in a frozen body that was several thousand years old. The reality of Plum Island is that they were experimenting with Borrelia in there lab and it appears extremely plausible and likely that poor containment allowed the bacterium out with the highly efficient vector of the black legged dear tick. It is not a coincidence the Lyme Con. is directly across Long Island Sound from Plum Island. Migratory birds which can carry Borrelia bacterium and ticks go back and forth from Plum Island to Lyme. Easter Long Island where Plum Island is, has as bad of a problem as Lyme and could have easily coined the name ” Eastern Long Island Disease”. The Conspiracy would be that the Government or FDA intentionally spread the disease which we all hope is not the case. The fact that the bacterium has spread form that area is not a conspiracy but more of a very sad careless mistake creating the perfect vector, causing this horrible disease to spread in epidemic proportions. Europe has Borrelia but it appears it is more treatable than the strains found in the US. Again not conspiracy but plausible the US Borrelia was experimented with and altered before accidentally being released by the lab. I don’t understand why those who most likely haven’t suffered from this illness are so ignorant to the supporting science that this bacterium exists and is a problem and are so adamant to disprove the disease. If they had suffered the horrors of Chronic Lyme their tune would change and instead of trying to disprove they would try to help find answers to this admitted perplexing illness. I am personally grateful for the MD’s and scientists who are making efforts to find answers for this complex illness which they themselves do not have all the answers but by their caring and logic minds are working to find answers.

        • jefe68

          I think you are confusing not buying onto a conspiracy theory with the disease.
          I don’t believe in the Plum Island story however I have no illusions about Lyme disease.  

          We need a vaccine ASAP. 

      • p_cayer

        The fact that Borrelia burgdorferi has been infecting humans for thousands of years does not disprove the Plum Island theory, anymore than the fact that anthrax has been infecting humans for millennia disproves that the 2001 infections were the work of a bio-terrorist.

        Look at the map, look where the current epidemic started, look how it radiated outwards from Old Lyme, CT.   The epidemiological criteria for following the epidemic excludes many strains other than the ones first identified at Old Lyme. The inescapable conclusion is that a number of infected ticks were released, possibly accidentally, from Plum Island.

    • jefe68

      http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lyme_disease
      Scroll down to the history of the disease and you shall see some evidence that what you are on about could be a conspiracy theory and nothing more.

      Perhaps the first detailed description of what is now known as Lyme disease appeared in the writings of Reverend Dr John Walker after a visit to the Island of Jura (Deer Island) off the west coast of Scotland in 1764.
      He gives a good description both of the symptoms of Lyme disease (with “exquisite pain [in] the interior parts of the limbs”) and of the tick vector itself, which he describes as a “worm” with a body which is “of a reddish colour and of a compressed shape with a row of feet on each side” that “penetrates the skin”. Many people from this area of Great Britain immigrated to North America between 1717 and the end of the 18th
      century. The examination of preserved museum specimens has found Borrelia DNA in an infected Ixodes ricinus tick from Germany that dates back to 1884, and from an infected mouse from Cape Cod that died in 1894.The 2010 autopsy of Ötzi the Iceman, a 5,300 year old mummy, revealed the presence of the DNA sequence of Borrelia burgdorferi making him the earliest known human with Lyme disease.

  • http://HOPE-Connection.com/ Michael Ryan

    You are not knowledeable about this, then. No offense.

  • Bonnie Logan

    I am a great fan of your show but was disappointed in today’s program. In my opinion, there were several instances where the “experts” gave advice that could be downright harmful, if applied by a listener. Specifically, I believe it is pretty well established that one should NEVER “twist” off a tick, since that can cause the tick to regurgitate the infection into your bloodstream. Second, as someone else said (below), the “expert” who told the distraught mother that her daughter probably did not have Lyme, since the daughter responded well to steroids (Prednisone), did a real disservice to the girl and her family. Steroids will relieve inflammation, and, of course, among other symptoms, Lyme causes inflammation. Also, there are other bonafide Lyme experts (i.e. Lyme-literate doctors), notably Dr. Richard Horowitz of Hyde Park, NY, who have dedicated years of their lives to research and patient treatment.  They will tell you  that, not only is chronic Lyme a fact, we should, perhaps, not be talking so much about ticks carrying Lyme Disease, but, rather, ticks carrying and disseminating a host of illnesses, all of them capable of destroying one’s health or even causing death.  FYI: Dr. Horowitz is renowned in this field. He is often called upon by doctors and health officials, both here and abroad. Recently, he traveled to China, at the request of the Chinese government, to confer with health officials about Lyme and other tick-borne illnesses. Incidentally, the TBIs (tick-borne illnesses) are becoming epidemic; they are out there, EVERYWHERE, in the U.S. and other countries, as well. BTW: Someone (below) mentioned the book Lab 257. It is well-worth the read and is a very, very credible, well documented book. (Among others, Former Governor of NYS Mario Cuomo is quoted, just inside the cover of the book, under the title Praise for Lab 257.) Plum Island, which is the subject of the book, is not the product of some crazy, conspiracy theorist’s imaginings. The U.S. government, the FDA and, now, Homeland security, all acknowledge its existence and purpose, although not in any great detail. There is, most certainly, ample evidence to suggest that tick-borne illnesses, to be used as biological weapons, were created there. (The inspiration for this insidious plan came from the Nazis, during World War II. I have read this information in numerous, credible places; I first read about it, ten years ago, in the writings of a former high-ranking official from the Carter admin. Google it and you’ll find numerous references.) One last thing: Skidmore College (one of the elite Seven Sisters) recently held a day-long seminar on Lyme. The event was chaired by NYS Rep. Chris Gibson, an extremely bright, well-rea, well-informed individual. (In other words, he’s no fool.) Participants included some of the best and brightest in the field of TBIs. Certainly, the experts who participated in this event knew their stuff, unlike some of the people who participated in your program today. Also, anyone who wants the real scoop on Lyme should Google a documnetary titled “Under Our Skin.” It can be downloaded and viewed for free, and is well-worth the time and effort to watch!

    • Carol Houde

       Nurse “practs” scare me. As a medical laboratory scientist I can tell you that there are not many nurses who are well schooled in infectious disease and in science in general. Sadly, in nursing education the instructors are nurses, not medical scientists. Misinformation gets taught as medical fact and is never challenged, “the blind lead the blind”. I’ll check out that book.

      • borrelia

        I have to disagree with you in some regard.  It is the nurses who carry out the majority of the caretaking of patients in the hospital.  While the orders they carry out come from a doctor, doctors generally visit the patient about 5 minutes in the morning and about five minutes in the afternoon to get the low-down on the patient’s status from….the nurse.  On-the-job training is crucial in nursing.  I am not a nurse.  I have had the displeasure of having family members hospitalized over long periods of time, and have seen the doctor/nurse/patient relationship at work.  It is the same at the majority of hospitals around the country.  Doctors are not medical scientists either.  You’ll find many pathologists feel the same way about their non-pathologist physician peers as you feel about nurses.  Even credible scientists often disagree with physician opinions.  I would agree that a nurse fresh out of school who immediately becomes a nurse practitioner is risky and much less educated than a physician.  A nurse who has practiced for more than 10 years has a lot of experience that can make him/her an excellent nurse practitioner. I think a nurse practitioner who also has an MD with whom she can consult if necessary can be an excellent provider.

        In my opinion, the attributes that make up a bad practitioner or physician are:
        Does the minimum required for CE credit
        Watches the clock because they can’t wait to go home
        Has you in and out in 10 minutes or less
        Has you waiting for more than 30 minutes in a waiting room
        Demeans his/her employees or patients because he/she believes doctor/nurse status puts them above others
        Automatically discounts a patient’s questions or comments because they “know more” about the patient’s body than the patient does themself.

        I believe anyone with average intellect, means and motivation can become “a doctor,” but to become a “great doctor” you need to have care and concern for your patients, not the paycheck at the end of the day.

  • Janet

    I didn’t hear all of the program, but I did hear the comments made by the mother who was trying to determine what was causing Lyme-like symptoms in her daughter. I was stunned that the “experts” didn’t mention STARI – Southern Tick Associated Rash Illness – and Rocky Mountain Spotted Fever, both of which are common in the Carolinas, Virginia, etc. They involve different bacteria than Lyme, but the treatment is the same. Infectious disease professionals in our area (southwest VA) suspect that many people are misdiagnosed because Lyme is not common here, but the other types are widespread.   

  • Utahowl

    With regard to the daughter working at the animal shelter who had a severe immune response to SOMETHING…I know of 2 cases who had severe autoimmune diseases triggered by a mite called chiella – this tick infests dogs, rabbits, but typically not humans, who can get a self-limiting chiellatosis (mite infestation).  BUT if the human has a propensity to autoimmune disorder (one friend got rheumatoid arthritis & there is autoimmune disease in her family; the 2nd person got lupus) then the chiellatosis can trigger the autoimmune disease.  I wonder if Lyme & similar diseases can also trigger acute episodes of autoimmune disease that then go chronic?

    • Utahowl

      sorry, Chiella is a mite, not a tick.

    • Venustrings

      Yes, from the research I have done on this (while not scholarly, it has been extensive), there is much evidence that Lyme triggers one or many chronic autoimmune responses.  

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=1084610624 Steve Radtke

    there are other diseases spread by these disgusting ticks!
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tick_borne_disease

    • Carol Houde

       Hi Steve
      You,may have seen earlier comments of mine regarding same. it isn’t ONLY Lyme. Having managed a hematology laboratory for years i can attest to seeing the other relatively common life-threatening organisms, Anaplasma (Ehrlichia) and Babesia. My former staff informed me that they detected 20 cases of Anaplasma and about 5 babesia within the last three months in Concord Ma. These other organisms get little attention from state health officials. There should definitely be a category for “suspicious”. The “official” criteria is too dependent on physician’s testing which is often poorly timed, or sometimes even the wrong test! 
      For some reason there is a lot of denial about these illnesses from the medical community. When you combine denial and misinformation, it is not pretty. The Mass, health dept does offer a free comprehensive booklet on tickborne illness ( detection and treatment) BUT it is not advertised throughout the medical community, nor to my knowledge, taught at any symposium.

  • Gwen

     What surface proteins are present on the organism? Please address why we don’t produce antibodies to the organism? 

  • Frank

    Great info at our local resource in Southern RI:
    http://tickencounter.org/

  • Walter

    I might be considered the grandfather of lyme disease since I contracted it in 1973 in Lyme, Conn.  Of course, Lyme disease was “discovered” in 1975.  After a few months of the initial bullseye, my symtoms included: bright blood in urine, swollen lymph nodes, 106F fever for 24 hours, nightly fever peaks of 104F with night sweats, unable to open my hands entirely, unable to walk up a flight of stairs, Bell’s palsy, and heart murmur.  Although I was almost always in good spirits, my symptoms lasted almost a year.  I was at a major Boston hospital for a month.  Diagnosis: Juvenile Rheumatoid Arthritis, the doctors even wrote a paper on me.  Wrong.   

    What saved me was acne.  Huh?  My dermatologist put me on a relatively high dosage of tetracycline.  Gradually, I was feeling better.  But I did not put two and two together since I was also taking quinine drugs.  After six months, I came off the antibiotic.  Within 2 months, I was back in the hospital with the same symptoms, with no apparent cure.  Finally went back on tetracyline for acne again and the symptoms disappeared forever.  The lesson here is that a short duration of antibotics will not necessarily permanently cure and that a more aggressive regimen is required.

    But I do have two questions: Am I now immune to Lyme disease?  And, can I donate blood without fear of transmitting the disease.

    Good luck to all who have suffered the long term effects of this disease.  Remember, you have to be your own advocate.

    • tickchick

      i have been told by my lyme disease doctor to not donate blood. although, i did get my blood in my boyfriends fresh open wound (weird story dont ask haha) and my lyme doctor told me that the only studies that show transmission was with mice in a cage (one began with lyme the other was lyme free) through urine getting into the pores of the other ones feet… but he still said its not a good idea to donate.
      and no, you are not immue. my brain is pretty scewed up from lyme disease so i have a tough time understanding and retaining information, but i do know that there are several differant strains of lyme disease (also co-infections) and anyone can get re-infected. you also can relapse. i have several times, and it looks as though you did too back in the 70s!
      i hoped this helped a little?

      • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_CZ32TAHFPXEK464K6YDNYJE3FY MeM

        Oh, then your Lyme doc might want to read the studies where they grind up the brains of dead Borrelia infected mice and give it to the alive ones to infect them.  It was much easier than trying to keep the bacteria alive in a petri dish.  It’s not just urine that transmits it.  Chopped up brains fed to mice transmit it just fine, but I’m sure you weren’t planning on feeding anyone your brains.  Good thing, I wasn’t either, ha ha.  

    • shazdancer

      Hi Walter, amazing story. Glad to hear you recovered from your ordeal. Funny how long-term oral antibiotics for Lyme are so dangerous, yet the same ones are prescribed all the time, and at the same doses, for acne!

      The current opinion is that you are not immune to Lyme, perhaps because there are so many different strains of the disease.

      You probably should not donate blood. Not only could you possibly still have a latent Lyme infection, but it sounds like (from the description of fever/sweats) that you also had babesiosis, a malaria-like co-infection to Lyme. It is treated by a combination of antibiotics and atovaquone or quinine, with which you were treated. Babesiosis has been shown to be passed through blood transfusions.

    • Teddi

      No you cannot donate, as Lyme can lay dormant for years, and there is no way to know for sure that you are completely lyme free.
      And no you are not immune to Lyme Disease. It is possible to get it again. Happened to someone in my family. But at least you will recognize the symptoms next time, and be able to treat immediately. Good luck!

    • Borrelia

      I posed the donation question to the head of the County Health Department in my state who is still under the belief that the IDSA is telling them everything.  Though he saw my positive labs and would not agree that I had Lyme disease because I don’t live in an endemic state, he was sure to tell me that I should definitely not give blood because there was indeed something wrong.  He just couldn’t tell me what.  There is no immunity for Lyme disease.  The only immunity I forsee in the future is for the generations of children born to a mother infected with Lyme disease.  Maybe their generations will become immune to Lyme disease down the road.  It’s suspected that the descendants of those who had the plague but did not die from it, had some mutation in their DNA which prevented the plague from killing them.  Curiously enough, those very same descendants may have immunity to the AIDS virus due to the mutation that saved them from the plague. 

  • Linda C

    How very unfortunate that you choose to have doctors on your panel who are studying but not actively treating lyme. Also that they were not Lyme Literate MD’s. Those of us who have suffered with the affects of this disease have seen the widespread lack of knowledge running rampant in the medical community.

    I found it amazing how little mention there was of California as one of the places Lyme is now found. After looking at the CDC mapping of Lyme cases in the U.S. and reading the statical chart regarding the number of cases in different states it becomes apparent that there is indeed a problem in California. The current testing for Lyme with the CDC requirements for testing positive is highly unreliable as a accurate source for a diagnoses.   

  • http://profile.yahoo.com/FMC567LV2V5THDC7AWDJZSZ3NM Alexander

    Unfortunately I missed the show but I wonder if the subject of Monhegan Island Maine came up.  There had been a Lyme epidemic there which was ended when they got rid of the deer and therefore the deer ticks.  They still have rodents but the adult egg-laying deer tick will not feed on a rodent.  Therefore killing the deer broke the tick life cycle: no more tick eggs, no more ticks, no human infection.  Ticks from one deer can produce 450,000 eggs per season.  The Lyme epidemic was fueled by the deer epidemic. In 1930 there were 300,000 deer in the US. Now there are 30 million.  Other mammals such as raccoons and opossums may also host the adult deer tick but they are good groomers, eating ticks on their bodies. Also they don’t blatantly travel around in herds. A New Hampshire friend had 11 deer eating fruit from a tree in her yard. She said everyone in their area has had Lyme disease. On WBUR Massachusetts State Rep. Linsky pointed out the power of the animal rights activists who oppose deer hunting. They are to blame fo this horrific epidemic.     

    • nj_v2

      The Monhegan example is not easily transferable to other settings. The option of completely clearing wildlife off of an island is not available on the mainland. Nor is hunting practicable in suburban settings where deer are prolific. There are many reasons why deer populations have increased. It is silly to blame animal rights activists for the “epidemic.”

      • http://profile.yahoo.com/FMC567LV2V5THDC7AWDJZSZ3NM Alexander

        We Americans can do what’s necessary to get rid of this horrific plague.  There are for instance “clover traps” where deer are lured into fenced areas with food and then shot by sharpshooters as they feed. The Monhegan experience showed us that deer are the problem and eliminating them is the solution.   Why should we have to douse ourselves with potentially harmful pesticides, give up enjoying nature, fence ourselves in, and have to watch as lives are destroyed by these diseases while the disease-spreading animals run free?  Human beings aren’t allowed to spread these devastating diseases around. Why should animals have more rights than we have?     

  • Loyal American

    I know many people with Lyme Disease in northeastern Ohio.  They don’t appear to be represented on this map.  All you have to do is check out how many Lyme Disease Groups have been formed across the entire state of OHIO.  

  • TyroneJ

     Where to begin? Lymes Disease has been pervasive all around the world for thousands of years. The 5,300-year-old ice mummy dubbed Ötzi, discovered in the Eastern Alps about 20 years ago, appears to have had the oldest known case of Lyme disease, according to DNA analysis. This show’s premise that Lymes started in Conneticutt and has spread is, to quote Wolfgang Pauli, “Not only is it not right, it’s not even wrong!” The disease was first recognized near Lyme CT, but is found all over the world an clearly has been in Europe for ages.

    • http://profile.yahoo.com/FMC567LV2V5THDC7AWDJZSZ3NM Alexander

      Anthrax has been around a long time too, but if it turned out that we now had an epidemic of Anthrax poisoning, that would be news. 

    • Sandgust

      book called lab 257 based on biowa being created on plum island ny where syphllis was injected (if you will) into ticks. this is a manmade untreated disease, not untreatable, as penicillin came to be the answer, long time ago for syphillis.
      i have heard that there are more biological diseases being used today, but not privy to. sad, very sad indeed.

  • Pingback: THE PROTECTOR YOU HAVEN’T THANKED « Towheeblog

  • Thaiadora

    Here is an diary of a mom and her two young children and their struggles with lyme disease AND coinfections – the emotional, physical and political battles, along with facts about lyme to teach the reader what he/she needs to know along the way.  Highly suggested for the person newly diagnosed or one with lyme who doesn’t want to feel so alone or to give to someone to help them understand what it really is about – to help them ‘get’ what you might be going through. http://www.lulu.com/content/paperback-book/whats-the-big-deal-about-lyme/12904194

  • Think Again

    Lyme patients are well-advised to use caution in selecting
    treatments, or specialty providers and organizations for information about the
    diagnosis and treatment of infectious diseases.   Many of the
    self-proclaimed  ‘Lyme-literate’ medical doctors may not be adequately
    trained in the diagnosis and treatment of such illnesses, as they are not
    infectious disease specialists.  This controversy extends far beyond the
    use or mis-use of antibiotics.  Many dangerous and unproven remedies are
    being skillfully marketed, targeted towards vulnerable patients and their
    families.

    One can use the Federation of State Medical Boards website to look-up any
    recent and publicly available medical board findings about physicians, nurses
    and other providers practicing in the United
    States.  There is a great deal of
    misrepresentation throughout the Lyme community as to the reason certain
    ‘Lyme-literate’ physicians are being investigated by their peer-run medical
    boards.  You should read the board findings for yourself and make your own
    decisions.

    Use caution in the selection of other resources for information and support as
    well.  Patient support organizations and meetings may be quite similar to
    the highly criticized Direct-to-Consumer advertising of pharmaceutical
    companies and similar commercial and business interests.

    Most importantly, remember to use caution when reading anything – keep in mind
    that anyone can post online about anything, as well as misrepresent themselves
    as a medical or science expert when they are not. 

    Public awareness and education into
    the methods used to properly diagnose and treat Lyme and similar infectious
    diseases is certainly appreciated.
     

    • http://profile.yahoo.com/FMC567LV2V5THDC7AWDJZSZ3NM Alexander

      Your advice would be useful if it weren’t for the fact that, as CT Attorney General Blumenthal pointed out, there has been a horrific conflict of interest in the so-called academic experts who drew up the legal treatment guidelines.  Some were on the payroll of insurance companies who profited by denying coverage. Others were linked to drug companies, patents on vaccines, etc. All this profiteering serves to foster distrust in the medical profession. Currently there is a news video of Allen Steere discussing a new better vaccine. It states that Steere has no conflict of interest.  Is this true or not?     

    • Borrelia

      Another uneducated reply from someone who hasn’t read the multitude of scientific information on Lyme disease and the bacteria Borrelia Burgdorferi.  I went to an infectious disease doctor who told me my Lyme test through LabCorp was a false positive.  I tested twice more positive through LabCorp and positive through Igenex labs.  As in every field of medicine, you will find some who just want to take your money.  This exists in all of medicine, Lyme literate or Infectious Diseases of America Society.  Like every field of medicine, you have to sift through the bad doctors and find the good doctors that are there because they enjoy being doctors.  The majority of the cost in Lyme disease is not in the treatment itself, but in the journey trying to find out what is causing your debilitating symptoms.  The fact that there are some out there who want to make money off of those who are seriously ill, does not discredit the enormous amounts of research available on Lyme disease and the bacteria Borrelia Burgdorferi that uphold the position of the decent and good Lyme literate doctors.  The same research does, however, discredit the belief held by the Infectious Disease’s Society of America that Lyme is hard to get and easy to cure and that our tests are accurate.  I am functional today because of my Lyme literate doctor.  The IDSA doctor refused to treat me based on his narrow, uneducated, in-the-box, keep-it-simple-stupid (KISS) viewpoint.  Before you make an opinion, educate yourself.  The only way a person could deny the legitimacy of the opposition to the viewpoints held by the IDSA is because they refuse to educate themselves and rely only on what they are told or read in short clips or they have a financial stake in denying the truth.  You need not stand on a pulpit and pretend that you are the only one who knows which research articles and scientific articles are considered “expert.”  It doesn’t take a genius to sift through what is bunk and what is accepted as good science in the medical community.  It is isn’t a matter of a lack of research, but rather that you are not being told of what they do know.  You are being told only what they want you to know.  Don’t forget, some of these seriously ill patients are doctors themselves!!!

  • Peter Lombardi

    There is a film by Andy Abrahams Wilson called: ” Under Our
    Skin – H C Nightmare”  shown by WSBE Rhode Island Public
    Radio that reveals the abject truth about why there is no
    cure for humans and the insidious and egregious politics of
    insurance companies to prevent there ever being one, so
    far.  I direct your attention to: http://www.underourskin.com

  • Janis

    Lyme Disease is everywhere there are migrating birds, mice, deer  and people.  I was in Florida for 10 years and the Lyme community was big and growing.  A friend of mine got it from mulching her lawn in Sarasota.  Many people come to Flordia already infected, as I did, but let’s not kid ourselves with the map that is presented.  Another friend of mine lives in Tennessee and was bitten on her golf course. The list of presenters was not “On Point” but “Off Base and Unbalanced”.  Many doctors are afraid of losing their licenses to practice medicine by coming forward but where were the doctors who believe the IDSA guidelines are wrong and need to be updated and expanded to include more comprehensive treatment for Lyme?  They can’t lose their licenses for having an opposite opinion.  I would get more antibiotic if I was treating acne than what is given for an initial Lyme tick bite on Cape Cod.  A pet dog gets better treatment for Lyme Disease than I would.  Keep digging, Tom Ashbrook.  I liked much about your show on Lyme but there is much more to be said.  Don’t stop now.

  • http://profile.yahoo.com/FMC567LV2V5THDC7AWDJZSZ3NM Alexander

    The pro-deer activists spread propaganda falsely claiming the deer are not the problem. Most recently the blame has been on a lack of mice-eating fox.  Yet Dr. Maria Diuk-Wasser pointed out flaws in the fox study. There was no actual field data, and it was never shown that the mice population actually changed. Mayo nurse practitioner Vicki Buhr, in discussing the explosion of Lyme cases in Eau Claire Wisconsin, linked it to the hugh population of deer. 

  • Slipstream

    I live in Lyme country and so I am aware of it – have heard of people getting it, including a member of my family.  A very nasty disease!  I have not gotten it yet (knock on wood) even though I like being outdoors.  I have heard the best protection against LD is a good bath or shower after being outside – the ticks need 24 hours to settle in and start feeding on your blood.  So far it has worked for me.

    I think a great way to pick up Lyme is to have a big dog or two.  Most people get it in their backyards or from their animals.  That is how my relative got it.

ONPOINT
TODAY
Apr 16, 2014
A woman walks past a CVS store window in Foxborough, Mass., Tuesday, Feb. 7, 2012. The nation’s major drugstore chains are opening more in-store clinics in response to the massive U.S. health care overhaul, which is expected to add about 25 million newly insured people who will need medical care and prescriptions, as well as offering more services as a way to boost revenue in the face of competition from stores like Safeway and Wal-Mart. (AP)

Retailers from Walgreens to Wal-Mart to CVS are looking to turn into health care outlets. It’s convenient. Is it good medicine? Plus: using tech to disrupt the healthcare market.

Apr 16, 2014
Harvard Business School is one of the top-ranked MBA programs in the country. Our guest today suggests those kinds of degrees aren't necessary for business success. (HBS / Facebook)

Humorist and longtime Fortune columnist Stanley Bing says, “forget the MBA.” He’s got the low-down on what you really need to master in business. Plus: the sky-high state of executive salaries.

RECENT
SHOWS
Apr 15, 2014
In this file photo, author and journalist Matt Taibbi speaks to a crowd of Occupy Wall Street protestors after a march on the offices of pharmaceutical giant Pfizer, Wednesday, Feb. 29, 2012, in New York. There was a heavy police presence around the 42nd Street area as the demonstration began Wednesday morning outside. (AP)

Muckraking journalist Matt Taibbi sees a huge and growing divide in the US justice system, where big money buys innocence and poverty means guilt. He joins us.

 
Apr 15, 2014
A crowd gathers at the finish line of the Boston Marathon in Boston for a Sports Illustrated photo shoot before the one-year anniversary of the Boston Marathon bombings, Saturday, April 12, 2014. (AP)

One year after the Boston Marathon bombing, we look at national and local security on the terrorism front now, and what we’ve learned.

On Point Blog
On Point Blog
How Boston Is Getting Ready For the 2014 Boston Marathon
Tuesday, Apr 15, 2014

Boston Globe metro reporter Maria Cramer explains how the 2014 Boston Marathon will be different than races in the past.

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WBUR’s David Boeri: ‘There’s Still Much We Don’t Know’
Tuesday, Apr 15, 2014

WBUR’s senior reporter David Boeri details the ongoing investigation into the alleged Boston Marathon Bombing perpetrators.

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Remembering The Boston Marathon Bombing, One Year Later
Tuesday, Apr 15, 2014

One year after the Boston Marathon Bombing, we look back at our own coverage of the attacks and the community’s response from April 2013.

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