If you haven’t heard by now, the CDC recently revised their estimates of annual Lyme Disease cases in the US up from 30k a year to 300,000 a year. (That number does not include the positive tests from the leading Lyme laboratory, IGENEX, because the CDC does not acknowledge that laboratory’s work.) A project is under way to put faces to that number. You can see the 300K cases of Lyme photo project here. I am one of the lucky ones who’s case was confirmed relatively early and am now a good 90% recovered to my pre-Lyme self.
To my Lyme friends, you can add your picture by emailing it to firstname.lastname@example.org.
One of the most important things to know is if you get by a tick, save the tick in an old pill bottle or plastic baggie with a damp cotton ball. You can then send the tick in to be tested for Borellia Burgdorferi (Lyme bacteria) as well as the other infections ticks carry such as Babesia, Bartonella, etc. It is far easier to test the tick then it is to test your blood because the human tests miss up to 50% of the cases.
It is also important to know that if you receive inadequate treatment for Lyme when you are first treated or even worse, no treatment at all, that Lyme can persist and become a systemic infection which is what happened to me. It is scary to think that when you go to your primary care doctor expecting them to know what is necessary to treat you for this disease that most doctors have not been adequately trained to treat this illness. I still hear stories regularly from people about doctors turning them away and not treating them at all even when they have a documented tick bite. Just last night at a meeting a good friend shared the story of his sister-in-law with me and last week our neighbor from one block over. And we live in an endemic region so you would think doctors would be trained!
You can read my Lyme story here.