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I am delighted to offer a guest blog from Nancy Dougherty, assistant to research doctor, John Aucott. Please see the latest news that is of value in expanding our understanding of this exploding epidemic and many twisting threads of the often complex situation. Thank you Nancy- you are a wonder!
Katina I. Makris, CCH, CIH
author of “Out of The Woods”, host of “Lyme Light radio with Katina” at LymeLightRadio.com
Lyme disease continues to be in the news despite the winter season. -The breadth of this epidemic is gaining recognition and credibility.
Stanford University conducted a study (published in the March issue of the journal Emerging Infectious Diseases) that has found infected ticks are widespread throughout the San Francisco Bay Area (-infected with Borrelia burgdorferi, the bacterium that causes Lyme disease, as well as with Borrelia miyamotoi, a newly identified human pathogen). http://news.stanford.edu/pr/2014/pr-ticks-bay-area-021814.html This study has gotten worldwide attention and is helping dispel the notion that Lyme disease is only a northeast & upper midwest problem. -It can be contracted elsewhere, including California! Many are viewing this Stanford study as a “wake-up call”. http://www.sfgate.com/health/article/Lyme-disease-more-common-in-Bay-Area-than-5267529.php#page-2
Most people know about the importance of mice and deer in the life cycle of ticks, but migratory birds are also known carriers of ticks. A hawk in Vancouver Canada was recently discovered to be the first bird of prey known to host ticks containing the Lyme bacteria, Borrelia burgdoferi. http://www.vancouversun.com/health/Vancouver+Island+hawk+first+found+with+ticks+carrying+Lyme/9487629/story.html
A Bay Area health consultant estimates the potential prevalence of Lyme disease in the US exceeds 1.5 million people. http://www.spirochicks.com/2014/02/cdcs-survey-results-on-self-reported.html The CDC has not given prevalence numbers for Lyme disease but acknowledges 300,000 new cases per year in the US. (In comparison, there are 50,000 new cases/year of HIV/AIDS in the US)
One of the more innovative strategies for breaking the transmission cycle of Lyme disease is an oral bait mice vaccine pellet that has been developed by US Biologic. http://www.huffingtonpost.com/c-m-rubin/the-global-search-for-edu_b_4854758.html?utm_hp_ref=tw This aims to reduce the rampant escalation of tick-borne pathogens but could take years to impact the disease incidence numbers.
For those wondering how Lyme survivor Angeli VanLaanen did at the Olympics, she finished 11th in the halfpipe and won hearts, but not a medal, with her inspirational recovery and exciting skiing.
Hope these updates help you and your loved ones stay healthy and informed.
All the best,
Lyme Disease Research Foundation
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