Growing problem with Lyme disease

According to the CDC there were almost 60,000 confirmed cases of Lyme disease in 2017, but estimates are that actual numbers could be ten times that figure. Tick bites are the source of the disease, and the number of cases keeps growing apparently as result growing populations of deer and other wildlife that carry the disease. The disease can be successfully treated with antibiotics, especially if caught early, but it can lead to chronic health problem if left untreated:

https://www.cdc.gov/media/releases/2018/s1114-record-number-tickborne-diseases.html

The disease is concentrated in the northeast US but is spreading to other parts of the country:

https://www.cdc.gov/lyme/stats/maps.html

Parts of Pennsylvania, where I live, are in the middle of the outbreak. I personally know several people who have been infected, and the person with the most recent case said their doctor is seeing three or four new cases per week in the summer.

In at least two cases that I know of personally, the people were misdiagnosed. In case, person in Florida for an extended visit from Pennsylvania. Florida doctors dismissed the possibility of Lyme disease even when the patient asked for a test. The patient finally received necessary treatment when they got back home.

Has any one else seen problems with Lyme disease?

No where in your link to the CDC does it say anything about the problem being from growing populations of deer and other wildlife.

The disease is carried by ticks who bite infected rodents, deer, and other wildlife and then later bite humans.


https://www.cdc.gov/lyme/transmission/index.html

I will be playing my role in disease vector reduction come December. :smile:

I contracted it a few years back. To make matter worse at the same time I was battling alcohol addiction (2 rehab stays) after a severe injury led me to drink vodka instead of taking Oxy’s … Horrible time in my life… These days my joints are bad and I have arthritis but I am not sure if it is from the Lymes or life of a professional skateboarder. I continue to just push forward at this time

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The area where I live is overrun with deer. I usually see deer on the drive to and from work, have counted more than a dozen at a time in one field and pass multiple road kills along the highways. The increase in Lyme disease may be related to the increase in populations of deer and other wildlife and in the increasing number of people living in outer suburban and rural areas.

Lyme disease can cause deaths from heart complications:

There are over 300,000 sudden cardiac deaths per year, and the role of Lyme disease has generally been ignored and undiagnosed. The annual deaths from complications related to Lyme disease could be in the thousands, but data is hard to come by.

I’ve never had experience with Lyme disease.
I had a former employee who died of West Nile Virus, two weeks after contracting it.

I have friend who was very athletic, but had to stop training because of problems with fatigue.

He eventually found a doctor who specializes in Lyme disease and he has recovered after treatment.

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I live up just northwest of Scranton, Pennsylvania.

During the rut, it looks like the deer lost World War III around here. I have played deer tag a couple of times myself. Deer carcasses lining the road everywhere you go.

God Bless You. I hope everything works out for you.

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There are also the ■■■■■■■ ■■■■■■■■ of the anti vaccination movement to thank for the prevalence of this illness:

■■■■ these hysterical ■■■■■■ JOINT PAIN is a symptom to whine like oversized toddlers about?! I live with osteoarthritis & mostly, especially through stretching daily, manage it just fine.

Enough nutters go into hysteria with unfounded opinions & vaccines limited to your dog are exactly what you can expect.

My dog got the vaccine and still contracted Lyme disease, so the vaccine used for dogs is not a magic bullet.

A related problem is that there are multiple diseases spread by the same ticks and frequently there are co-infections:

Ticks that transmit B. burgdorferi to humans can also carry and transmit several other parasites, such as Theileria microti and Anaplasma phagocytophilum , which cause the diseases babesiosis and human granulocytic anaplasmosis (HGA), respectively.[75] Among early Lyme disease patients, depending on their location, 2–12% will also have HGA and 2–40% will have babesiosis. --Wikipedia link from OP

My wife and three of her cousins are headed to New England for a fall foliage trip at the end of September. Am I correct to presume from that graphic that their risk is minimal that time of year?

My dog has gotten tick bites even in January. My experience is that ticks are active until the ground is frozen and there is snow on the ground. I try avoid ticks, but the there have been once or twice that I have found one after it attached, and my doctor gave me a 3-day course of antibiotics to prevent infection.

Tick nymphs are about the size of a head of a pin and are easy to miss. Many people who test positive to Lyme disease have no knowledge of being bitten.

Doctors in our area are familiar with Lyme disease and related illnesses spread by ticks. Doctors in other parts of the country are not, so it is very important that anyone who experiences rash, fever, joint aches, Bell’s palsy, severe fatigue or other symptoms be checked for Lyme Disease.

A related problem is that tests frequently give false negatives. My understanding is that they test for antibodies, which may not be present in some cases. Also there are related tick-borne diseases that may not show up on the tests, so treatment with antibiotics may still be required.

https://labtestsonline.org/tests/lyme-disease-tests#

Here is Lyme disease antibodies & how that fairly common test works.

Yes, Tick borne diseases are separate test requests.

Some tests may even be performed off the dead & preserved in alcohol tick.

I have a close friend who was misdiagnosed for years and now has ailments she will never be rid of. Early treatment is crucial.

She is in Connecticut where the disease was first identified.

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I wonder how many cases of chronic joint or heart problems are a result of undiagnosed Lyme disease, especially in patients who live outside the Northeast. People can easily pick up the disease while traveling and then return home to doctors who are clueless about the disease. In addition, the disease continues to spread, so new cases are likely in areas that have little experience with the disease.

Chronic Lyme disease can cause serious problems:

She has to see a specialist once a month just to try and stay on top of it.