Tag Archives: lyme disease

Borrelia Miyamotoi – A New Form of Lyme Is Now Found in Northeastern United States

Borrelia Miyamotoi Adds To The Lyme Mix

There is a new tick-born disease now found in the Northeastern United States. It is called Borrelia Miyamotoi. It is carried by ticks. It causes flu like symptoms similar to Lyme disease. But when tested for Lyme disease the tests all come out negative stumping doctors.

Borrelia miyamotoiA cancer patient in New Jersey was the first to come down with this new infection. They were diagnosed with the bacteria. The New England Journal of Medicine first reported on it back in January. This newest infection adds to the list of diseases spread by deer ticks. Doctors should know test for all of these diseases caused by blood sucking deer ticks.  Continue reading

Living Near Coyotes Causes A Higher Risk of Lyme

Lyme Disease Near Coyotes

It’s not just the deer in the area that are the culprit of Lyme Disease.  A new study shows how coyote populations and fox populations change the eco system and increases in Lyme cases.

How coyotes cause an increase in Lyme disease

“It was thought that deer were the only game in town for ticks,” said Taal Levi, lead author of the new study and a research fellow at the Cary Institute of Ecosystem Studies in New York.

Foxes have different hunting habits from coyotes.  Foxes will kill many small mammals at once, stashing the kill for later. Coyotes, especially those that have crossbred with wolves, will eat deer, rabbits, or even foxes, and are not efficient predators of small mammals as foxes tend to be. As coyotes have expanded in numbers and range, the new study suggests, they interfere with the important role served by foxes: to suppress Lyme disease rodent hosts, especially around human habitation.

Foxes could prevent the spread of Lyme disease

Many Lyme cases start with larval tick biting a white-footed mouse that carries Borrelia bacteria. The tick matures into a nymph that can infect other animals each time it feeds. The life cycle of the tick typically ends with deer, on which they prefer to feed and lay their eggs. The unlucky person outdoors may intrude at any stage and be bitten.

Using harvest records from 1982 to the present, the researchers tracked the number of deer, coyotes and foxes in Wisconsin, Minnesota, Pennsylvania and Virginia. In all four states, coyote hunter harvests were up over the 30-year period, while fox harvests decreased. Incidence of Lyme disease over the same time period mirrored the rise of coyotes and the decline of foxes. Deer abundance and Lyme cases were not related in Wisconsin, disproving the common belief that more deer equals more Lyme, according to the study, which was published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.

This more recent burst in Lyme prevalence appears to be linked to the statewide rise of coyotes and fall in foxes. Foxes don’t build dens where coyotes are present, and they may even be killed by coyotes. As a result, the small animals that host infected ticks are left to multiply freely.

Of course this makes sense in our neighborhood too where coyotes are often heard in the night, seen by neighbors and the cause of missing outdoor cats. Many in the neighborhood have experienced Lyme Disease over the past decade.

Do you have Coyotes near you? And if you do – do you hear of many neighbors with Lyme Disease?

Debate Over Lyme Disease Continues as May is Lyme Awareness Month

May is Lyme Disease Awareness Month and the debate continues between many Lyme organizations and the CDC. The  patient-advocacy groups, such as the California-based LymeDisease.org, say the disease is everywhere, difficult to treat and causes debilitating “chronic Lyme.” Many do not get or see the classic bull’s eye rash appear. This can delay being diagnosed.

lyme disease

Lyme bull's eye rash

But the Infectious Diseases Society of America, backed by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, disagrees and is pushing back against what it considers part of a wave of anti-science health movements.

But if untreated, Lyme disease can fire up months to years later as fatigue, arthritis, mental fogginess and sometimes even heart and liver problems. With such prolonged and subtle symptom progression, it can be a slow road to a proper diagnosis. And in some states laws prohibit the coverage of long term antibiotic use.

This one is dear to my heart for I* had a battle with Lyme disease years ago. The diagnosis was long in coming and when it finally was confirmed treatment was not long enough. Months later symptoms came again and was misdiagnosed again. Then months later meningitis hit with a week in the hospital from a severe migraine and extreme sensitivity to light. Thankfully the state I live in does cover the cost of long-term antibiotic use. Many states don’t and patients not only suffer from the disease dearly but also suffer the financial burden of care. And those that stop treatment can become worse and may never recover.

Part of the problem is the testing that is performed and the accuracy of the tests. Some tests come out negative but the patient still has the disease and does not get treatment because of the test. After I had found I had the disease a 2nd time I found a Lyme literate doctor who treated based on symptoms and not tests. This particular doctor had had the disease himself. I was on antibiotics for a year. This is where this debate really heats up. The IDSA claims only 2-4 weeks of antibiotics are needed. That’s what happened to me the first time I only was treated for 4 weeks. Apparently that did not work. Weeks and months out of work with the inability to work in light (on the computer or be outdoors) with the inability to walk any distance and joint pains in arms, legs with extreme fatique.

Doctors worry about the long term use of antibiotics and there is a reason for concern. This particular doctor did encourage specific vitamins and yogurt to bring back the good bacteria that the drugs also kill with the bad bacteria. Many doctors across the country who have given antibiotics for long term use have been reprimanded by medical boards.  It has become a political hot potato in many states.

More really needs to be done to get accurate testing and better treatment options. Of course the best course of action is prevention.  2012 has been predicted to be a very bad year for Lyme Disease with the milder weather we have had. You can check out this map if you live in a Lyme hot spot. Take precautions to avoid being biten by a tick.

  • Wear light colored clothing
  • When hiking or in the woods wear long sleeve shirts and pants – preferably white
  • Tuck your pants into your socks
  • Spray yourself with Deet
  • Considering purchase clothing that prevents ticks from latching on
  • Do not let your grass get tall
  • Do not feed the birds – they can be carriers
  • If you do get a tick on you that has embedded itself – bring the sample to your doctor

Have you or someone close to you been affected by Lyme Disease? 

*By Lisa Buben of Fancy Scrubs

A New Natural Pesticide To Kill Ticks Carrying Lyme Disease Shows Promise

Scientists in Connecticut, where Lyme Disease all started back in the mid 1970′s, have been working with a European biotech company to make a non-synthetic pesticide based upon a strain of fungus which kills the ticks and not the environment around them.

Lyme causing ticks

Ticks that are causing epidemic Lyme Disease

Lyme Disease is one of the most rapidly emerging infectious diseases according to the CDC and 2012 is expected to the be worst year for Lyme Disease cases.

Scientists are hoping this new pesticide will be available in 2 years. The name of it is ”F52 strain of Metarhizium Anisopliae fungus.”  It uses no synthetic chemicals, relying instead on a strain of fungus that occurs naturally in soil, and that targets pretty much little else other than the black-legged tick.

The Maine Medical Center’s Vector-Borne Disease Lab in South Portland, a non-profit research institute dedicated to studying and controlling lyme disease and other emerging tick-borne diseases wants to start testing this product out as soon as possible as Maine is having a rapid increase of Lyme Disease.

Scientists say even if your backyard is fully sprayed with pesticide, you should still cover up when walking in the woods, and check yourself for ticks. The best way is to wear light colored clothing so you have a chance to see the black legged ticks.

Most ticks can be found here on you:

  • Under the arms
  • In and around the ears
  • Inside belly button
  • Back of the knees
  • In and around all head and body hair
  • Between the legs
  • Around the waist

You should also try to prevent deer from entering your yard. Deer are the main food source for adult ticks. Keep deer away from your home by removing plants that attract deer and constructing physical barriers that may help discourage deer from entering your yard and bringing ticks with them.

Have you noticed more ticks this year than last year in your area?