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10 scary facts about lyme disease
10 SCARY FACTS ABOUT
THE IDSA DOES NOT WANT YOU TO KNOW SOME OF THIS
1. ONLY 1 IN 2 PATIENTS DEVELOPS THE CLASSICAL BULL'S EYE RASH
This means you have a 50% chance of not getting diagnosed correctly after a tick bite!
As many as 64% of patients with Lyme Disease do not remember being bitten by a tick.
2. STANDARD BLOOD TESTING FOR LYME HAS AN ESTIMATED SENSITIVITY OF LESS THAN 50%
This means diagnosis through current antibody serology is as accurate as a coin flip!
A bill passed in Virginia which requires doctors to tell patients a negative result does not mean you do not have Lyme disease!
3. MOST TICKS CARRY MULTIPLE DISEASE-CAUSING PATHOGENS CALLED CO-INFECTIONS
A tick can host up to 30 different pathogens. Species that are not tested by current CDC guidelines are Babesia, Bartonella, Mycoplasma Ehrlichia/Anaplasma and more. Many of these co-infections do not respond to standard lyme treatment (Doxycycline), yikes!
4. THE AVERAGE LYME PATIENT TAKES 2-3 YEARS TO GET DIAGNOSED CORRECTLY
That's a really long time for Lyme disease pathogens to get comfortable in your body!
Late stage treatment increases the risk of treatment failure and Lyme Disease becoming Chronic.
5.LYME DISEASE CAN CAUSE OVER 300 DIFFERENT SYMPTOMS
Lyme disease pathogens can affect multiple body systems and produce a range of symptoms. Symptoms so diverse that lyme patients often get wrongly diagnosed.
6. A TICK NYMPH CAN BE SMALLER THAN THE PERIOD AT THE END OF THIS SENTENCE.
This means it's very easy to miss a tick bite if you don't inspect your body on a daily basis! Be alert, and estimated 25% of all ticks might carry Lyme Disease.
If you spot a tick, remove it as soon as possible. This reduces (but doesn't negate) the odds of contracting Lyme Disease!
7. LYME DISEASE IS MORE EPIDEMIC THAN AIDS, WEST NILE AND AVIAN FLU COMBINED
Lyme disease is a global epidemic. The CDC estimates that there are nearly 325,000 new cases each year in the USA alone. Yet, this is only a fraction of the actual numbers, due to inaccurate tests and underreporting. Each year, thousands go undiagnosed or misdiagnosed, often told symptoms are all in their head.
8.LYME DISEASE BACTERIUM CAN SURVIVE SHORT-TERM ANTIBIOTIC TREATMENT
The current international treatment guidelines recommend a 2-4 weeks course of oral antibiotics. This treatment however, does not guarantee eradication of all Lyme Disease pathogens. New studies show that Lyme disease pathogens are highly adapted: They evade destruction by antibiotics and subvert the adaptive immune system.
Large scale patient surveys show that short term treatment fails for over 90% of patients with Chronic Lyme Disease.
9. THERE'S 12 STRAINS OF BORRELIA THAT ARE KNOWN TO CAUSE LYME DISEASE, STANDARD SEROLOGY ONLY TEST FOR ONE
The agent known to cause Lyme Disease is called Borrelia. This bacterium has many strains causing different symptoms. Current standard blood testing only looks for a single laboratory strain!
This means you have a big change of going undiagnosed with a less known strain, like the newly discovered borrelia miyamotoi!
10.LYME DISEASE TRANSMISSION MIGHT NOT BE LIMITED TO TICK BITES
In addition to ticks, Lyme Disease may be carried and transmitted by fleas, mosquitos, and mites. Lyme disease is not exclusively vector-borne. New theories suggests transmission could take place through the placenta/by contact with breast milk, blood, feces, sex, raw food, & saliva.
10 scary facts about lyme disease