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Discussion: Lyme - An Update

in: Orienteering; Training & Technique

Aug 20, 2019 4:22 PM # 
This month The Atlantic Monthly published a long story of a young woman's 20-year fight with a mysterious set of ailments she finally concluded must be Lyme. The 6-year chart showing reported Lyme cases, by year, seems to center directly on the O-Zone:

...Standard Lyme tests can’t reliably identify an infection early on or determine whether an infection has been eradicated. That’s because the tests are not looking for B. burgdorferi spirochett. Instead, they assess indirectly: They look for the antibodies produced in response to the bacteria. But antibody production takes time, which means early detection can be hard. And once produced, antibodies can last for years, which makes it difficult to see whether an infection is resolved, or even whether a new one has occurred. What’s more, antibodies to autoimmune and viral diseases can look like the ones the body makes in response to Lyme...

...a significant percentage of people who had Lyme symptoms and later tested positive for the disease had never gotten the rash. Others had many characteristic symptoms but tested negative for the infection, and entered treatment anyway. Most startling, a portion of patients who had been conclusively diagnosed with Lyme disease and treated didn’t really get better. When people from each of these groups failed to recover fully, they began referring to their condition as “chronic Lyme disease,” believing in some cases that the bacterium was still lurking deep in their bodies....
Aug 20, 2019 7:34 PM # 
This is a good summary of the difficulty of getting a diagnosis and then treatment of Lyme type infections. A recent book by Kris Newby, “Bitten, The Secret History of Lyme Disease and Biological Weapons”, provides a history of the long research into tick borne diseases and mechanisms to dispense them over wide areas in order to incapacitate an enemy as measures to use non-lethal means of preparing for an invasion. This all started back in Cold War days and counter-measures for similar Soviet developments were needed. An unfortunate possibility postulated of the escape into the wild during the testing, maybe from Plum Island- the Government research lab between Long Island and Lyme, CT, in the late 1960s. That is about the time of the first cases of Lyme arthritis were noted in CT. Both reads are stunning reminders of the need for vigilance after running in the woods.

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