My first article was an introduction to the Lyme disease, a review of some of the misunderstandings, and acknowledgement that I have had two Lyme markers detected indicating the disease is present. You can find it through the following link, http:/// in my newspaper, the Coltons Point Times.
This article (Part 2.) will expand on the lack of reliable data on Lyme disease and the misconceptions regarding the bacteria. Part 3. will discuss the symptoms I exhibited to indicate the latent bacteria became activated and began attacking my body and Part 4. will discuss the treatment I am taking to attempt to fight off the Lyme Disease as well as the results of my treatment.
However, let me first explain my reason and approach to this series. By training and experience I am an investigative reporter and though my newspaper experience was limited I have spent my life in various positions and projects that enabled me to use this background.
While I have an interest in science and have been involved in some extraordinary scientific projects I am not a scientist but a reporter who attempts to interpret what the scientists are trying to tell us. My role is to translate science into understandable terms that people will know. On occasion I will make mistakes when attempting this so do not hold me to the highest scientific standards in reporting.
What I will do is cut through the technical and scientific language to tell you the truth. I will also tell you what makes no sense and where the real truth may lie. Unlike scientists, I begin with no preconceived notions nor required protocols but with an open mind to find the truth. Finally, I do not limit where the truth might lead me and try and stay open to information that is not relevant to existing medical reports but makes sense if we recognize that existing information may be wrong.
As for Lyme disease, my first conflict with published information was that I cannot accept that Lyme disease, or more specifically the bacteria associated with it, is something new since the 1970's nor that it could be caused solely by a deer tick bite. Also it made no sense that it was unique to Northern America and Europe.
The following information was extracted from a book, 2008 Lyme Disease Annual Report by Bryan Rosner and other contributing writers.
For some reason, Americans tend to assume that Lyme Disease is isolated to the United States. It is understood that other diseases, such as cancer, diabetes, and hepatitis, are prevalent throughout the world—but Lyme Disease is perceived to be an exclusively American disease. The reality is that Lyme Disease is a major problem all around the globe.
Understanding the vast prevalence of this infection is necessary for a proper perspective of the disease. Only when we recognize its true reach, severity, and ability to spread, will we be equipped to properly face Lyme Disease. An accurate understanding of the enormity of Lyme Disease gives patients enough respect for the disease to take it seriously and fight to heal, and gives practitioners and researchers the perspective necessary to allocate much-needed funds and resources to its study. Recent research confirms the presence of Lyme Disease on all corners of the globe. Below is a brief summary of current findings.
In England, the British public has been warned by the Health Protection Agency (HPA) to carefully protect themselves from tick bites due to a “sharp rise in the number of the blood-sucking parasites and increased cases of Lyme Disease in Hampshire, Dorset, and Berkshire.” The increase in tick population has been blamed on a “particularly wet and mild summer.” According to the HPA, “Lyme Disease is a highly infectious disease which is transmitted through tick bites and can lead to blindness, paralysis, and even death if left undiagnosed.” Britons are advised to protect themselves by “wearing trousers, using insect repellent and checking their skin for ticks” after visits to the countryside. The HPA also notes that “incidents of Lyme Disease have increased by 90% since 2006 across the UK, and New Forest, South Downs, Dorset, and Berkshire have now been named as tick hot-spots.”
The Department of Molecular Biology at Umeå University, Umeå, Sweden, released a study in 2007 which stated that “The reported geographical distribution of Lyme Disease is constantly increasing in Sweden.” The report cites findings which show that birds play a key role in the spread of Lyme Disease due to their long distance dispersal and their role as reservoir hosts for Borrelia. In addition to Lyme Disease in Sweden, Swedish researchers also discovered that sea birds in the Arctic region of Norway carry Ixodes uria ticks infected with Lyme Disease, specifically the Borrelia garinii strain. It has long been known that Borrelia garinii is one of the more common forms of Lyme Disease on the European continent, and this information shows the spread of this strain to new geographical areas.
In collaboration with U.S. Centers for Disease Control (CDC) researchers, Russian scientists set out to determine which types of bacterial agents are found in the North Western region of Russia. The type of tick examined was Ixodes persulcatus. Researchers discovered the following:
Altogether, 27.7% of ticks were infected with at least one organism, while the DNA of two or more bacteria was found in 11.8% of ticks tested. The highest average prevalence of Anaplasmataceae (20.8%) was detected in ticks from Arkhangel'sk province, while the prevalence in ticks from Novgorod province and St. Petersburg, respectively, was 7.3% and 12.2%. Only Ehrlichia muris DNA was identified by DNA sequencing. In comparison, the prevalence of B. burgdorferi DNA was 16.6%, 5.8%, and 24.5% in the respective locations.
The Russian researchers conclude with this statement: “Since I. persulcatus is so commonly infected with multiple agents that may cause human diseases, exposure to these ticks poses significant risk to human health in this region.”
Researchers in Germany studied the influence of preventative measures on the risk of being bitten by a tick and suffering from Lyme Disease in children attending kindergarten in forested regions of Germany. Fifty-three schools were studied, encompassing 1,707 children. Researchers conclude that "children in forest kindergartens are at a considerable risk of tick bites and Lyme Disease."
In Poland, the Department of Occupational Biohazards investigated the prevalence of Lyme Disease bacteria in ticks collected from wooded areas. 1,813 ticks from six districts were examined by polymerase chain reaction (PCR). Not only did researchers discover that a significant portion of the ticks were infected, they also were surprised to find that many ticks were infected with multiple strains of Lyme Disease bacteria, including Borrelia afzelii, Borrelia garinii, and a new yet-unnamed strain, “Borrelia b.s.1.”
A Portuguese University, in a study of climate change, discovered that warmer and increasingly variable weather may result in an increased incidence of vector- borne diseases, including malaria, schistosomiasis, leishmaniasis, Lyme Disease, and Mediterranean spotted fever.
A fascinating new report from the microbiology department at Raigmore Hospital in Scotland states that at least nine different strains of Borrelia have been documented in Scotland, including Borrelia afzelii and Borrelia sensu stricto. Additionally, a report appeared on September 15, 2007, in the North Scotland Press and Journal, entitled "Bloodsucking Ticks Blamed as Lethal Lyme Disease Cases Soar." This newspaper article not only documents the dramatic increase of Lyme Disease cases in Scotland, it also provides evidence that Lyme Disease can be fatal if not treated adequately. The article uses the word "rocketed" to describe the dramatic increase in cases over the past decade. Dr. Ken Oates of Health Protection Scotland observes that "There has been a genuine rise. Nobody can really say why. I would guess a summer like this which is warm and wet provides favorable conditions. Up to one in five ticks can carry Lyme Disease in Scotland."
As far away as Croatia, researchers are finding Lyme Disease. Amazingly, 3,317 cases were reported from 1987 to 2003 in Croatia. Northwestern Croatia showed the highest incidence. According to a report published by the Department of Public Health, "the clinical picture of Lyme Borreliosis in Croatia is dominated by erythema migrans, followed by neurological manifestations."
In Switzerland, according to researchers, "the incidence of tick-borne encephalitis has been clearly increasing since 2004, and this is caused mostly by Lyme Disease."
In Italy, 24 cases of Lyme Disease were documented over the last year. Keep in mind, the actual number of cases is probably much higher due to inadequate testing and diagnosis.
And let us not forget Canada. The Canadian Center for Disease Control states that "the black-legged tick, Ixodes scapularis, has a wide geographical distribution in Ontario, Canada, with a detected range extending at least as far north as the 50th parallel, and four out of five regions of Ontario affected."
Additionally, "The Lyme Disease spirochete was detected in 12.9% of I. scapularis adult ticks." Also according to Canadian authorities, "characterization of B. burgdorferi in Canada displays a connecting link to common strains of Lyme Disease found in the northeastern United States."
According to the Vector-Borne Disease Laboratory in British Columbia, "In 1994, British Columbia was declared an endemic region for Lyme Borreliosis."
In Alberta, Lyme Disease has been found to be common in rabbit ticks.
The Department of Medicine at McGill University, Montreal, notes in a recent report that "Lyme Disease is an expanding community health issue."
The poor recognition of Lyme Disease by the medical establishment is not a phenomena limited to the United States: On September 17, 2007, CBS News Canada reported the story of approximately 100 Lyme Disease sufferers who gathered on Parliament Hill in Canada to get the attention of Canadian physicians. The aim of the gathering was to get better testing for the disease and more federal money devoted to research—many in the group say they were misdiagnosed by their physicians.
Amazingly, according to the CBS report, "Lyme Disease is not a nationally reportable disease in Canada, according to the Public Health Agency of Canada (PHAC), meaning there are no statistics available on its prevalence." Yet, although not reportable, CBS goes on to state that "Borrelia burgdorferi is predominantly found in parts of British Columbia, southern and eastern Ontario, southeastern Manitoba, and parts of Nova Scotia."
Try to figure out that contradiction: not reportable yet found practically everywhere. The CBS article concludes with the story of a Canadian professor who, after suspecting Lyme Disease, was forced to travel to the United States and pay more than $15,000 out-of-pocket for treatment.
Now, with unrelenting persecution of Lyme doctors in the United States, appropriate Lyme Disease treatment may be harder and harder to find…anywhere in the world. The research identifying Lyme Disease in Canada goes on and on, with over 83 official, published studies on Lyme Disease in Canada. The Canadian Lyme Disease Association can be visited at www.canlyme.org.
In my first article I told of the ability of the Lyme bacteria to mimic many other diseases. Another very important fact to remember is that Lyme symptoms can also mimic many other diseases as well and that both the "early stage" symptoms and the later "chronic" stage symptoms are not consistent. In other words, your body can react in a variety of ways when the Lyme disease is activated in you.
This also means the bacteria can reside in you in a dormant and hidden stage for years before it may be activated. As we learn more and more about the disease it becomes more and more obvious that we know very little and most clinical research has been extremely limited to the early assumptions that only a tick transmitted disease that breaks out in a circular pattern from the bite is Lyme disease.
Hardly. Follow up studies have shown that as many as 85% of the cases do not show any signs of the inflammation from the tick bite and most detected bites are for new infection, not dormant infection already in your body.
There are studies that have shown the bacteria itself, Borrelia burgdorferi (Bb), has been around for many centuries and a hypothesis was offered that Bbsl may be the protective agent of juvenile and adult arthritis in Louisiana Tchefuncte Indians between 500 BC and 300 AD. If so it will revolutionize how the disease it viewed and treated. Strains of the bacteria have been found in humans in 30 countries or more on six continents and additional islands.
As for the ticks, there is more than enough evidence that it can be spread by a variety of insects and animals and even between humans. There are no studies characterizing immune reactivity to the bacteria in untreated patients from non-endemic regions and where symptoms have been present for one year to decades. Consistently, most serious studies have examined and tested only patients from limited geographic areas where high tick infection rate and acute human disease coincide. The immune reaction of infected patients not meeting 'Lyme disease' criteria have fallen outside rigorous scrutiny. However, studies have shown conclusively that a group of Bbsl-infected humans was not inoculated transdermally but rather acquired their disease congenitally or gestationally.
That means the human may well be the most likely 'vector' for Bbsl transfer to other humans. The label 'Lyme disease' has become, by convention, a semantic boundary that excludes consideration that an infectious agent responsible for a zoonosis may also exist independently as a non-zoonosis.
CDC-defining criteria do not address human congenital transfer and deny without proof that sexual transfer occurs. This mindset assures that Bbsl cases falling outside 'Lyme disease' criteria have not been considered in most research, nor reported to local health agencies. Thus the CDC position on intra-human Bbsl transmission is that 'Lyme disease bacteria are not transmitted from person-to-person', yet current human and veterinary data make this position indefensible.
Finally, a pregnant mother with a dormant and hidden Lyme bacteria could then transmit this to her infant passing on the bacteria to the next generation at birth. Thus a host of illnesses in infants may be a direct result of Lyme disease bacteria, undetected and untreated, mimicking other diseases. Many can be fatal.
In plain English, there are hundreds of identified strains of the Lyme bacteria so far and the method of transmission is far beyond what the establish criteria allow for Lyme disease. It is highly probable that the bacteria has existed for centuries if not more and that millions and millions of people throughout the world are infected. When the bacteria becomes active most are misdiagnosed but a far greater number are carriers of the dormant bacteria which could become active at any time.
That is far closer to the truth than anything the government can prove at this time and may help explain the previous unknown reasons for the explosion in certain diseases such as Autism, MS and other bacteria based infections as well as the explosion in a variety of mental diseases and problems like attention deficit disorder (ADD), antisocial personality, Anorexia Nervosa, Autism and Aspergers syndrome, depression and Fibromyalgia. It would also explain the failure to successfully treat Alzheimer's Disease.
The bacteria providing the foundation to Lyme's Disease can be detected in over 300 infections.