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Online Discussion: Tracking new emerging diseases and the next pandemic

Vector Borne Disease Updates - Fanatics Only

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    Posted: May 04 2018 at 5:27am
For those who study the minutae......................

Swiss government data shows sharp rise in another tick borne disease

Article:   https://enews.ch/2018/05/04/swiss-government-data-shows-sharp-rise-in-another-tick-borne-disease/

And

Vital Signs: Trends in Reported Vectorborne Disease Cases — United States and Territories, 2004–2016

Weekly / May 4, 2018 / 67(17);496–501

Article:   https://www.cdc.gov/mmwr/volumes/67/wr/mm6717e1.htm

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^Thanks, I am one of those fanatics!! 

Despite claims to the contrary, global warming is increasing the pathogen burden in society.  Without the deep cold winters, ticks and other critters survive longer, and their range spreads up into Canada and other places where they were once blocked by the weather. 

Another factor is the re-emergence of white tailed deer and deer mice in populated areas.  Many people like to live in a rural setting, and this puts them into direct contact with ticks carrying Lyme disease.  They are also more likely to be exposed to WNV in these settings.  


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I share your passion, but understand that some think us weird.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote carbon20 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: May 04 2018 at 3:38pm
We have some very nasty tick bourne diseases,

and we are only now finding out how alot of these diseases present in people 

How sick can you get from a tick?

Airdate: 
Tuesday, November 14, 2017 - 20:30
Channel: 
SBS


We know that ticks can make us sick.

For many on Sydney’s northern beaches a tick bite can mean no more red meat or dairy. 

For others a tick bite can cause flu-like symptoms and a diagnosis of tick typhus or Flinder’s Island spotted fever.

Elite Australian tennis player Samantha Stosur fell ill from a tick bite in 2007 and was diagnosed with Lyme disease. Luckily, 8 weeks of antibiotics and she was back on the court.  

But what happens when the medical profession is divided over how to treat you for a tick bite? Many Australians are suffering from chronic symptoms that could be caused by a tick bite, but a diagnosis of Lyme disease is not available to them because the bacteria that causes the infection has never been found in Australian ticks.

In light of this, some doctors prescribe controversial treatments and some doctors refuse to treat.

Chanel travelled to Malaysia for hyperthermia treatment and blood ozone therapy in a final attempt to beat her illness. Jesse was on a high-dose of oral antibiotics for 12 months. 

This week, Insight hears from patients who have been suffering from unexplainable symptoms and the doctors who are faced with a decision of how to treat them.

Does the medical profession need to be more open to the possibility of tick borne illnesses? Can doctors provide a diagnosis when they don’t know the cause of the illness?

Insight also asks what we are yet to find out about ticks – and just what could be making us sick?

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  • Presenter: Jenny Brockie
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote carbon20 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: May 04 2018 at 3:42pm
As debate rages in Australia about tick-borne illnesses, Insight asks: how much can a bite from one of these critters affect our health?
By 
Madeleine King
 
Source: 
Insight
24 OCT 2016 - 3:21 PM  UPDATED 14 NOV 2017 - 9:43 PM

In September 2015, Vivianne Vandenberg went bushwalking with friends on the picturesque NSW South Coast. When they returned back to the house they were renting, she found a tick had lodged itself into her upper leg. The women debated what to do, before settling on a method of extraction and pulling the critter fully free from Vivianne’s body.

“Julie got the whole tick out and we were very pleased with that because we thought great, we've got the head out, fine,” recalls Vivianne.

But three minutes later, she began to feel oddly warm. Her vision went next, and the last thing she remembers is falling to the ground and vomiting. Her friends, two of whom were nurses, briefly lost her pulse before Vivianne came to with slurred speech waiting for an ambulance to arrive.

She’d been bitten by a paralysis tick: a species responsible for 95 per cent of all human tick bites on Australia’s eastern seaboard and thought to be the most likely vector of illness-causing pathogens. Of the 70 – 75 tick species in the country – 65 of which are uniquely Australian – only 10 are thought to bite humans.

The bite to Vivianne had triggered an anaphylactic reaction and now even a nibble from a baby tick is potentially fatal to the 58 year-old. So extreme is her reaction, she is concerned about living on Australia’s east coast where the paralysis tick is endemic. 

Vivianne Vandenberg

Vivianne, on Insight.

Vivianne is part of a growing number of Australians whose health has been severely impacted by the humble bite of a tick. Around 1000 people in Sydney’s Northern Beaches currently suffer from a mammalian meat allergy, brought about by the bite of a tick in their leafy surrounds. Others, meanwhile, have developed what appears to be a tick-borne illness whose symptoms resemble Lyme disease found overseas.

The latter’s experience can be crippling. Elite Australian tennis player Samantha Stosur knows the full effect of Classical Lyme disease, when she was bitten by a tick, in Paris she suspects, around the time she was training for Wimbledon in 2007. Her glands swelled, a rash spread across her body, and she developed extreme tiredness, headaches and body aches. A few weeks later and back in the US, she had developed viral meningitis.

Many weeks and four doctors later, Stosur was finally diagnosed with Lyme disease. With two months of oral and IV antibiotics she was on her way to recover, but it would be a long journey.

“Eventually when the doctors told me it was okay for me to come home, I came home and started really slowly with my training again which was about a twenty minute walk,” she tells Insight’s Jenny Brockie. “So that was quite, you know, a different scope of what I was used to.”

Samantha Stosur

Samantha Stosur shares her story on Insight

If Stosur had sought diagnosis in Australia, she may have run into some scepticism. While doctors here do recognise the existence of Lyme disease from tick bites contracted overseas, such a diagnosis does not extend to Australians who present with symptoms resembling Lyme disease from a bite in the country.

A couple of years ago, Jesse Chadwick was on the NSW Central Coast with his family bushwalking among sand dunes and marshland. Bugs and sand flies were everywhere, but they brushed them away without much notice. After flying to New Zealand for a holiday not long after, Jesse was hit with a wave of illness: fevers, chills, fatigue. “They started subsiding after about ten days,” says Jesse, “and then when I got back to Australia, I could never actually really shake it. It was just always something coming towards me.”

The fatigue increased and he developed headaches, muscle and joint pains, and digestion problems. He thinks he visited more than 16 doctors before finally finding one who specialised in chronic fatigue syndrome willing to see him.

“The chronic fatigue doctor said: ‘I don't think you've got chronic fatigue, I think you've got a Lyme-like illness.”

According to the CSIRO, there are only three tick-borne illnesses in Australia: Queensland tick typhus, Flinders Island spotted fever and Q fever. The difficulty in diagnosing Lyme disease in Australia comes down to the fact that species of the Borrelia bacteria that causes Lyme have never been detected in native ticks, despite extensive studies.

“There's now been four large studies done over the last twenty years looking at many, many ticks in Australia, thousands of ticks, and none of them have found Lyme disease bacteria in the ticks,” says Professor Stephen Graves, a medical microbiologist.

There's now been four large studies done over the last twenty years ... and none of them have found Lyme disease bacteria in the ticks.

In addition to this, methodologically reliable and accredited testing is difficult to come by. Australian Biologics, for example, offers services testing for Lyme disease in Australia, but is not recognised by the National Association of Testing Authorities (NATA) which ensures transparency.

Australian researchers in this field don’t deny that there may indeed be an as-yet undetermined illness spreading via tick bites in the country.

“There may be in fact be other illnesses that have not yet been diagnosed that are associated with ticks,” says Professor Graves. “So all the scientists and the medical professionals are saying at this point in time [is that] there's no good evidence Lyme disease exists in Australia.”

“We're not saying you're not sick, we're not saying you haven't got something from the tick bite because that hasn't been adequately investigated yet, but we're saying you almost certainly haven't got Lyme disease.”

In a recent breakthrough, Dr Charlotte Oskam and her team from Murdoch University have found a strain of Borrelia unique to Australia. But many health professionals reject the comparison of these unidentified illnesses to Lyme disease, and the use of the term ‘Lyme-like’, arguing it may bias future research into what might be causing Jesse’s and fellow sufferer’s sickness.

“I don't think anybody really cares what we call it,” counters Jesse. “Like you can call it whatever you want but you need to study it and you need to hurry up about it.”

Call it whatever you want but you need to study it and you need to hurry up about it.

The presence of this unknown illness borne by Australian ticks is a rare area of common ground, but it presents a conundrum for victims and scientists: sufferers are increasingly isolated and sitgmatised for seeking treatment similar to that prescribed for Lyme disease, and researchers cannot swiftly present an alternative diagnosis and treatment options, without adequate funding and in the face of something all good research needs: time.

In the meantime, tick-bite prevention remains a reliable method to stop the spread of such illnesses. If you’re planning to be in an area where ticks are common, wear long trousers that can be tucked into thick socks, keep your shirt tucked in an apply DEET-containing insect repellent.  

If you do find yourself bitten by a tick, don’t remove it with tweezers (or at all), recommends Dr Sheryl van Nunen, a senior specialist in immunology and allergies. Disturbing the tick will only encourage it to release its saliva into the body and transmit any pathogens it contains. Seek assistance from a doctor or hospital immediately, where they will be able to remove it using fine surgical tweezers.

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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote carbon20 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: May 04 2018 at 3:47pm
this is the Program from above ...............


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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote CRS, DrPH Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: May 04 2018 at 5:10pm
Originally posted by carbon20 carbon20 wrote:

this is the Program from above ...............



Good lord, mate, what DOESN'T Australia have that will kill you? 

Box jellies, funnel web spiders, snakes....and now deadly ticks? 


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lol Wink

we tough downunder Matey......lol


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Potential Chikungunya Virus Vaccine Designated for FDA Fast Track

MAY 04, 2018
The US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has granted Fast Track designation to an investigative vaccine designed to prevent disease caused by chikungunya virus.

PaxVax, an independent specialty vaccine company, is developing the prophylaxis. Chikungunya — a disease which causes headache, muscle pain, skin rash, and severe joint pain that can persist for years — spreads through mosquito bites and can result in widespread outbreak. According to the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), the rate of infectious diseases transmitted from tick, flea, and mosquito bites to humans has more than tripled in the US in recent years.

Trials for the PaxVax vaccine, which is a virus-like particle (VLP) treatment licensed from the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID), recently began enrolling for a 400-paitent phase 2B dose-finding study. A previous phase 2A study conducted by the NIAID’s parent organization the National Institutes of Health (NIH) tested the vaccine’s effects in participants.

The virus is anthropod-borne and shares a close relation to other viruses identified in Africa, South America, and Australia. It’s a small, spherical RNA virus vectored by the daytime-biting Aedes aegypti mosquito — better known for transmitting Zika virus, yellow fever, and dengue viruses.

Chikungunya has only recently be come a domestic issue. The first local transmission of the disease in the Americas was diagnosed in the Caribbean in late 2013, but it has since been identified in 45 countries in the Western hemisphere. The Pan American Health Organization has identified more than 1.7 million possible cases since the first identification. Residents of and travelers to sub-Saharan Africa, Southeast Asia, India, the Caribbean, Central America, and South America.

Individuals at greater risk of serious complications due to the virus include infants, elderly people, and people with chronic medical conditions.

If clinical development progresses, the PaxVax vaccine could become the first approved by the FDA for the prevention of chikungunya. Eva Harris, PhD, director, Center for Global Public Health, University of California, Berkeley, said the field is in “desperate need for a medical and public health intervention.”

“It is exciting to see this vaccine candidate moving forward with Fast Track designation as this is an extremely debilitating disease with the potential for causing serious long term sequelae,” Harris said in a statement.

Lisa Danzig, MD, chief medical officer, ParVax, said the Fast Track designation is yet another positive step for the vaccine’s development, as well as being a recognition of the unmet clinical need.

“This is another example of the capabilities of our technology platform and our steadfast commitment to developing specialty vaccines that protect against overlooked infectious diseases as mosquito-borne diseases continue to increase due to air travel and warmer weather,” Danzig said.

Results of the phase 2B trial are expected to be finalized in early 2019.

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Division of Public Health launches Lyme disease awareness campaign

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By Submitted News Posted May 4, 2018 at 7:00 Pm

The Division of Public Health is warning residents that with warm weather comes ticks, fleas, mosquitoes and increased chances of vector-borne diseases.

Whether staying home or traveling in the coming months, DPH wanted to remind Delawareans of the risk of these diseases, which include Lyme disease, Zika and West Nile Virus, and to share prevention tips.

In 2016, Delaware reported 545 cases of tick borne diseases and 35 cases of mosquito borne diseases, according to data just released by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. The CDC listed Lyme disease as the state’s top tick borne disease, accounting for 93 percent — 506 — of the cases. DPH recently finalized its 2017 data and is reporting 608 cases of Lyme disease last year, an increase of more than 100 cases since 2016. The CDC believes that the actual number of Lyme disease cases nationwide is 10 times higher than what is reported to doctors or state and county health departments.

Because May is also Lyme Disease Awareness Month, DPH launched a campaign titled, “BLAST Lyme disease,” which was adapted with permission from the Ridgefield, Connecticut, BLAST Program. The “BLAST” acronym is a way to remember five steps to take to protect family and pets from Lyme disease — bathe or shower within two hours of coming indoors, look for ticks on body and remove them, apply repellent to body and clothes, spray yards and treat pets.

The BLAST campaign will run through the summer and early fall months and includes advertisements on Facebook, several local websites and Spanish-language publications. DPH has also updated its website to include fun activities for children to learn about Lyme disease called “Kids Korner” and has detailed instructions for tick removal.

For more, visit de.gov/lyme.

My source:   http://www.hockessincommunitynews.com/news/20180504/division-of-public-health-launches-lyme-disease-awareness-campaign


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May 4, 2018 10:52 pm

Lyme Disease: A devastating illness, according to a Kingston man

Article at source:   https://globalnews.ca/news/4188050/lyme-disease-a-devastating-illness-according-to-a-kingston-man/

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[It seems we are all jealous of Australia's wildlife, Carbon.  We seem to be catching you up as fast as we can]


Humans Have Paved the Way for a Global Lyme Disease Epidemic

by Mary Beth Pfeiffer – May 4, 2018

Carved-up forests, biodiversity loss, and climate change may not have caused the tick-borne scourge, but they have enabled it

Excerpted from Lyme: The First Epidemic of Climate Change

On the day after Christmas in 2015, I took a walk with my 30-year-old son in an old cornfield that long ago morphed, with changing patterns of agriculture, into a gently tended meadow we know well. This nine-acre patch of earth, across the dead-end lane from our home in upstate New York, has a rare and wonderful feature that we have worked, with the cooperation of neighbors, to sustain: a mowed trail around its perimeter that allows access even when summer mustard, milkweed, and goldenrod are four feet high and the blackberry brambles profuse.

photo of ticksPhoto by Jeb Bjerke Ticks have changed daily life in communities across the US and much of the world, and the diseases they infect humans with have altered the course of many lives.

As we often do, we took with us that day a coterie of mismatched family dogs — a Shih tzu, Chihuahua, springer spaniel, and a beige rescue that we call a boxer.

The day was unusually balmy in the last week of a year that had gone down as the warmest in 135 years of weather history, followed only —  but considerably — by the year before. The temperature had topped out at 55 degrees Fahrenheit that December 26th; it had reached into the mid-60s on Christmas and hit 72 in nearby Poughkeepsie the day before. For that time of year, daytime temperatures at or near freezing would have been far more typical here in the Hudson Valley, a hundred miles north of New York City. Instead, it had been so warm that forsythia buds had sprouted in one neighbor’s garden; crocuses peaked through in another’s.

When we came back from our short walk, we did what has become in New York State a routine practice from spring through fall, but not for winter. We checked the dogs for ticks. When we were done, we had picked twenty-one blacklegged ticks from the scruffs of our pups, each about the size of a small freckle, and all with one goal in mind: to latch onto a warm body and suck its blood.

When I moved to this rural county in upstate New York 30 years ago, such things did not happen. Ticks certainly did not show up in December, were indeed rare, and, if seen, were usually of the easier-to-spot dog tick variety, which infrequently carried Rocky Mountain spotted fever. They did not pack the potential arsenal of infection of the small, ubiquitous blacklegged ticks of today. Every year, the list of diseases found within this tick grows longer, including new bacterial, viral, and parasitic pathogens.

These infections have changed daily life in the county in which I live, and they have altered the course of many lives, particularly when they go unrecognized for weeks or months. Mention Lyme disease at a gathering here and nearly everyone has a story. The odd rash, fever, occasional palsy, meningitis, and joint pain of early stages. The sometimes-crippling arthritis, memory loss, depression, numbness, and fatigue of advanced disease.

Even the rare infection that can kill. In towns near me, Lyme carditis, in which the bacterium quickly cripples the heart, claimed a 17-year-old high school boy and a 38-year-old father of three within five months. A woman, who at 91 was an active gardener, died after being bitten by a tick and contracting another common tick-borne disease, babesiosis.

Photo of cover for Lyme

Blacklegged ticks have taken up residence in half of continental America’s counties, spreading west, north, and south from the Connecticut town for which Lyme disease was named in the late 1970s, like some unchecked algal bloom. These eight-legged arachnids have turned childhood from a time to explore nature to a time to fear it. My seven- year-old grandson has been warned since he could walk: Don’t brush up against the tall grasses at the edge of the trail. Don’t venture into the weeds. Tuck socks into pants. Sit still for repellent. Check yourself, and remind Mommy to also.

Then, pray we see the tick, and pity the parent who doesn’t know to look. Guidance counselors and teachers have told me of children, the most frequently infected, missing months, sometimes years, of school because the tick went unseen or the symptoms were misconstrued. But happenstance is not the only reason that cases are missed or treatment delayed, I have learned. Many patients have suffered needlessly, in the United States, Canada, England, France, Germany, and many other countries, because of how Lyme disease has been framed in American medical journals and treatment guidelines. This is an illness that has been minimized, underestimated, and politicized to the point that doctors fear treating it aggressively with a cheap, common drug: antibiotics.

I began to write about Lyme disease as an investigative reporter for a Dutchess County, New York, newspaper in 2012. I intended to write one or two stories about a prevalent local disease, focusing on its origins, growth, and management by health officials. But Lyme disease proved to be a story far beyond the parameters I’d envisioned. Over a period of four years, I studied the policies, paper trail, and scientific literature. I tested the postulates of patients and their advocates. Many of their assertions, I concluded, were true.

Decades-old testing protocols failed to diagnose many people with the disease. The risk of overtesting — and falsely diagnosing people with Lyme disease — was exaggerated at the expense of cases missed and symptoms dismissed. Official figures did not reflect the epidemic’s scope and were soon revised tenfold. Human trials concluded that short-term antibiotics eradicated the bug, while animal and test-tube studies showed they didn’t.

And then there was the politics of Lyme disease. Doctors who prescribed repeated courses of antibiotics — standard in other diseases — faced professional disciplinary charges, huge legal fees, and sometimes suspension or loss of their licenses. Research was discredited, ignored, or relegated to second-tier journals when it challenged prevailing dogma. Scientists who were invested in a benign view of Lyme disease used access to elite journals to uphold the status quo. And little money was available for treatment trials because the medical system purported to have the answers to Lyme disease care.

And yet, some 10 to 20 percent of people infected annually with Lyme disease, estimated at 380,000 Americans in 2015, have symptoms that linger months and sometimes years after treatment. The United States Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) calls the condition Post-Treatment Lyme Disease Syndrome, and it affects multitudes of people as disease-toting ticks move around the world. Lyme disease is rife in most every country in Western Europe. It is in Russia, China, former Soviet satellite states, and though officially unrecognized, in Australia too. In one small study, half the ticks in two parks in New York City harbored the Lyme disease pathogen. In a Chicago park, Ixodes ticks, some laden with the Lyme pathogen, outnumbered every other tick carried by migrating birds in 2010; five years earlier, there were none. In a northwestern suburb of Beijing, one in twenty residents tested positive in a Chinese study that said, quite remarkably, “Underdiagnosis of early Lyme disease and physical damage at advanced stage are huge problem [sic] in this area.”

But infected ticks haven’t just moved around. They have added layers of woe. Forty-five percent of ticks in the French Ardennes, for example, carry more than one disease; some have five. A tick-borne malaria-like illness, babesiosis, unheard of not so long ago, became a nationally reportable disease in 2011 after cases skyrocketed in some American states — and it slipped into the US blood supply, infecting premature babies and killing at least eight people. Another rapidly emerging pathogen, Borrelia miyamotoi, prevalent in the San Francisco Bay area, has upped the ante on Lyme. Tick babies, hatching by the thousands, can inherit the bug directly from mom rather than get it with its first animal blood meal. Add to this Powassan virus, which is also passed to baby ticks, transmitted within fifteen minutes of a bite, and is fatal 10 percent of the time, and anaplasmosis, a bacterial infection that is particularly dangerous for the elderly. Now consider how a tick infected with two or three of these organisms, for which a doctor may not know to look, and for which testing is not routine, can wreak havoc in a human body.

This spreading toll of tick-borne disease is not a random act of nature. By virtue of the developed world’s lifestyle and influence — the cars, the suburban tracts and carved-up forests, the diminished biodiversity, the emissions and airplanes — we have paved the way for the first global epidemic abetted by climate change. Warming may not have caused this scourge, but it most certainly is enabling it.

The pathogen that causes Lyme disease, Borrelia burgdorferi, has existed in the environment for millennia, just as blacklegged ticks have long been transported on the wings of birds to new and far-flung climes. What is different is that they now survive there. We have revived and empowered a sleeping giant, the Borrelia bug, by helping to create conditions favorable to the ticks that deliver it.

Climate change alone hasn’t done this — ticks thrive amid the mice and deer so prevalent in an attenuated, postindustrial era — but its influence in supporting ticks, the vector of human transmission, is key. Ticks have climbed latitudes like ladders; they have moved up mountains. Driven by warmer winters and earlier springs, they are predicted to move well north into Canada in coming years, just as they migrated up the Atlantic seaboard and north into Scandinavia at the close of the twentieth century.

Lyme disease, of course, is not the only epidemic to blossom in our changing world. Illnesses carried by mosquitoes — Zika, West Nile, Chikungunya, dengue fever, malaria — are proliferating and are predicted to worsen as the globe warms. The diseases they carry today annually cause millions of illnesses in tropical countries — and in the case of malaria, nearly a half-million deaths.

When these illnesses arrive on US shores, they capture the public imagination and lead the nightly news in a way that Lyme disease never has. Yet the Lyme toll in the United States and many developed countries is far higher — perhaps four or five million Americans infected to date — than West Nile, Zika, and all other mosquito-borne illnesses combined. And like West Nile, Lyme sometimes kills, although the numbers are largely unknown. Late-stage Lyme disease has even led to suicide, an outgrowth both of the illness and society’s regard for it.

For official purposes, Lyme disease is not called an epidemic. It is an “endemic,” a term with far less urgency, reserved for an illness that comes to stay. It emerges. It takes root. And it does not leave. It is a slow burn, this scourge, established, entrenched, and for many, inescapable. But its second-class status also stems from how Lyme disease has been managed and shaped. Treatment guidelines issued by the Infectious Diseases Society of America (IDSA) in 2006 diminish the lingering symptoms of Lyme disease sufferers, calling them the “aches and pains of daily living.” This, while studies from Columbia University, Johns Hopkins, and elsewhere have measured significant neurological, cognitive, and physical impairments in treated patients. One study equated the quality of life of those with longstanding Lyme disease to people with congestive heart failure. Others have linked the disease to mental illness and showed brains deprived of blood flow.

Borrelia burgdorferi is a clever, adaptable bug. It has a hugely complex genetic profile, with more independently replicating structures, called plasmids, than any other bacterium. It doesn’t need iron, unlike most other bacteria, removing one option for our immune systems to starve it into submission. It grows slowly, confounding drugs that work on rapidly dividing cells. It hides in places that diagnostic tests do not reach. This tiny spiral-shaped organism is actually a boon to ticks. Those infected are more likely to find a blood meal, and ominously, may even cope better in dryer, hotter conditions, than those that do not carry the Lyme pathogen.

In 2014, a report by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, a multinational effort, said the period from 1983 to 2012 was likely the warmest 30 years in the Northern Hemisphere of the previous 1,400 years. The report, relying on multiple, independent temperature and climate indicators around the globe, called this “robust multi-decadal warming.” Tellingly, the US government monitors Lyme disease as a key indicator of the effect and pace of climate change. Like millions of other people, I see this change in my everyday life. It means that on a short walk in late December, I found twenty-one ticks on four panting, happy dogs that like nothing better than a romp through our shared preserve.

When I look at that lovely field, I see something else. I see a beautiful, inviting menace, a dark and dangerous wood. I see the first epidemic in the era of climate change, long in the making, global, and here to stay. Call it, if you will, the first pandemic. There are things we can do to protect ourselves, to control the bug, to limit its spread. You will read about that in this book. But you will read also about the missed opportunities, the misconceptions, and the human contribution to an epidemic that, for now at least, is beyond our ability to stop.

This essay was excerpted from Lyme: The First Epidemic of Climate Change, Island Press, 2018.

My Source:  http://www.earthisland.org/journal/index.php/elist/eListRead/humans_have_paved_way_for_global_lyme_disease_epidemic/

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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (1) Thanks(1)   Quote arirish Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: May 05 2018 at 9:24pm
A friend of mine married an outdoors man that spent a lot of time in the Qua*****a mountains here in Arkansas. He was bitten by a Lone Star tick and developed an allergy to red meat! It took months for the medical system to figure out what was wrong with him! After they figured it out he couldn't eat meat and didn't for several years until one night he forgot to tell a waiter in a restaurant that he was allergic and they gave him a soup with a beef base! He had a severe reaction and died! Most of this stuff is not understood. Here is a CDC list of tick disease in the USA:


    Anaplasmosis is transmitted to humans by tick bites primarily from the blacklegged tick (Ixodes scapularis) in the northeastern and upper midwestern U.S. and the western blacklegged tick (Ixodes pacificus) along the Pacific coast.
    Babesiosis is caused by microscopic parasites that infect red blood cells. Most human cases of babesiosis in the U.S. are caused by Babesia microti. Babesia microti is transmitted by the blacklegged tick (Ixodes scapularis) and is found primarily in the northeast and upper midwest.
    Borrelia mayonii infection has recently been described as a cause of illness in the upper midwestern United States. It has been found in blacklegged ticks (Ixodes scapularis) in Minnesota and Wisconsin. Borrelia mayonii is a new species and is the only species besides B. burgdorferi known to cause Lyme disease in North America.
    Borrelia miyamotoi infection has recently been described as a cause of illness in the U.S. It is transmitted by the blacklegged tick (Ixodes scapularis) and has a range similar to that of Lyme disease.
    Bourbon virus infection has been identified in a limited number patients in the Midwest and southern United States. At this time, we do not know if the virus might be found in other areas of the United States.
    Colorado tick fever is caused by a virus transmitted by the Rocky Mountain wood tick (Dermacentor andersoni). It occurs in the the Rocky Mountain states at elevations of 4,000 to 10,500 feet.
    Ehrlichiosis is transmitted to humans by the lone star tick (Ambylomma americanum), found primarily in the southcentral and eastern U.S.
    Heartland virus cases have been identified in the Midwestern and southern United States. Studies suggest that Lone Star ticks can transmit the virus. It is unknown if the virus may be found in other areas of the U.S.
    Lyme disease is transmitted by the blacklegged tick (Ixodes scapularis) in the northeastern U.S. and upper midwestern U.S. and the western blacklegged tick (Ixodes pacificus) along the Pacific coast.
    Powassan disease is transmitted by the blacklegged tick (Ixodes scapularis) and the groundhog tick (Ixodes cookei). Cases have been reported primarily from northeastern states and the Great Lakes region.
    Rickettsia parkeri rickettsiosis is transmitted to humans by the Gulf Coast tick (Amblyomma maculatum).
    Rocky Mountain spotted fever (RMSF) is transmitted by the American dog tick (Dermacentor variabilis), Rocky Mountain wood tick (Dermacentor andersoni), and the brown dog tick (Rhipicephalus sangunineus) in the U.S. The brown dog tick and other tick species are associated with RMSF in Central and South America.
    STARI (Southern tick-associated rash illness) is transmitted via bites from the lone star tick (Ambylomma americanum), found in the southeastern and eastern U.S.
    Tickborne relapsing fever (TBRF) is transmitted to humans through the bite of infected soft ticks. TBRF has been reported in 15 states: Arizona, California, Colorado, Idaho, Kansas, Montana, Nevada, New Mexico, Ohio, Oklahoma, Oregon, Texas, Utah, Washington, and Wyoming and is associated with sleeping in rustic cabins and vacation homes.
    Tularemia is transmitted to humans by the dog tick (Dermacentor variabilis), the wood tick (Dermacentor andersoni), and the lone star tick (Amblyomma americanum). Tularemia occurs throughout the U.S.
    364D rickettsiosis (Rickettsia phillipi, proposed) is transmitted to humans by the Pacific Coast tick (Dermacentor occidentalis ticks). This is a new disease that has been found in California.
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The incredibly frustrating reason there’s no Lyme disease vaccine

Your dog can get vaccinated for Lyme. You cannot.



Lyme has quickly become one of the most common infectious diseases in America, with many as 300,000 people infected every year. And public health officials fear the bacterial infection, which jumps from ticks to humans, will only spread further and faster as climate change makes more parts of the US habitable for ticks.

Lyme can be treated with antibiotics. And there are many ways to prevent tick bites. But there’s no vaccine available if you wanted extra protection against the disease. (Unless you’re a dog.)

Yet, in the late 1990s and early 2000s, a vaccine called LYMErix was sold to prevent between 76 and 92 percent of infections. Hundreds of thousands of people got it. Until vaccine fear knocked it off the market.

The LYMErix story is worth retelling today. It’s a stark reminder of how anti-vaccine mania of the past few decades is leaving us all more susceptible to disease.

The Lyme vaccine was effective

Lyme first appeared in the US seemingly out of nowhere, spreading between ticks and people in Connecticut.

By the 1990s, it was possible to be infected with Lyme from a tick bite in much of the Northeastern US — and there were around 15,000 confirmed cases a year. (Today, there are more than 35,000 thousand confirmed or probable cases of Lyme each year, and many many more cases that go completely unreported.)

Lyme cases continue to climb. These are just the probable and confirmed cases. There could be as many as 300,000 cases that go unreported each year. CDC

Recognizing the increasing public health hazard, the drug manufacturer SmithKline Beecham (now called GlaxoSmithKline) developed a vaccine that targeted the outer protein of the bacteria that causes Lyme. The FDA approved it in 1998.

The vaccine worked by targeting the bacteria while it was still inside the tick’s body, the website History of Vaccines explains. The bacteria would be neutralized before the tick ever had the chance to transfer the bacteria into the human body.

LYMErix wasn’t a perfect vaccine, as Gregory Poland, a Mayo Clinic vaccine researcher explained in a 2011 retrospective in the journal Clinical Infectious Diseases. It required three doses over the course of the year, and was not approved for people under age 15. It was optional, and doctors had a hard time assessing who to recommend it to (there were few maps of Lyme-carrying ticks’ range at the time). And the vaccine also only protected against the North American strain of Lyme. Lastly, it was somewhat expensive at $50 a dose, and it was not universally covered by health insurance.

But it was effective, preventing Lyme in up to 90 percent of the people who were vaccinated will all three doses, with few side effects. And at first, the vaccine was pretty popular. About 1.5 million doses were injected before 2000.

LYMErix debuted near the beginning of anti-vaccine mania

Getty Images/Collection Mix: Subjects RM

LYMErix had the misfortune of being approved the same year some people were becoming suspicious of vaccines in the United States. In 1998, the journal Lancet published a now-retracted study that (falsely) claimed the measles, mumps, and rubella vaccine (MMR) was linked to autism, and the modern anti-vax movement was born.

At the same time, a few members of the FDA panel that approved LYMErix had voiced a theoretical concern that the drug could cause an autoimmune reaction leading to arthritis. The idea was that as the immune system learned to attack the protein that covered the Lyme bacteria, it could overreact, and start to attack healthy tissue in the body. This side effect didn’t occur in the clinical trial. It was just a hypothetical possibility.

The drug was eventually approved unanimously by the FDA panel, but the fear of an autoimmune reaction trickled down to the public.

What happened next was a perfect storm to drive the product from the market. A 2000 study found the vaccine contributed to autoimmune arthritis in hamsters. Other research posited (but didn’t prove) that it was possible some people were more genetically predisposed to develop this type of autoimmune response in reaction to the vaccine.

Sure enough, some LYMErix recipients soon began to complain publicly that the drug was causing them to develop joint pain. National news media were reporting on the concerns, casting them in a harrowing light. In the 2000, ABC news told the story of a man who fell ill with a “fever and an intense, hellish pain,” after taking the vaccine.

The FDA looked into the claims but never found a connection between the vaccine and arthritis. By 2001, 1.4 million does of the vaccine had been distributed, but the FDA’s Vaccine Adverse Events Reporting System only picked up on 59 reports of arthritis.

“The arthritis incidence in the patients receiving Lyme vaccine occurred at the same rate as the background in unvaccinated individuals,” a 2007 paper in Epidemiology and Infection explains.

Overall FDA’s VAERS only picked up on 905 reports of any adverse side effects at all — a tiny amount compared to the number of people who had gotten the shots.

The vaccine was pulled from the market, despite evidence finding it was safe

But it was too late. Already, there was “significant media coverage, sensationalism, the development of anti-Lyme vaccine groups ... who urged withdrawal of the vaccine from the market,” Poland explained in his 2011 article. A class-action lawsuit targeted SmithKline Beecham, claiming the company did not do enough to warn people of potential autoimmune side effects.

The FDA continued to follow up with an additional drug safety trial to try to settle the matter for the public. The trial was supposed to last four years. But sales of LYMErix had plummeted “from about 1.5 million doses in 1999 to a projected 10,000 doses in 2002,” the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases explains on its website.

So the manufacturer pulled it from the market, despite the fact that early data from the additional safety trial found “no differences in any significant adverse reactions noted between control subjects and vaccinated persons,” Poland writes.

Concerning side effects sometimes do emerge after a drug comes on the market. But you need hard data to establish them. And the FDA’s investigations into LYMErix never found any evidence of autoimmune side effects.

“Although studies never adequately substantiated the safety concerns associated with LYMErix,” the Epidemiology and Infection article states, “the decline in public tolerance for risk and uncertainty combined with the relatively low morbidity of Lyme disease contributed to the inability of the vaccine to find a market niche.”

In 2000s, Lyme still didn’t infect that many people. And the public was more concerned about the Lyme vaccine than the disease itself. But now, infections rates are rising and we’re left without a crucial tool to stop its spread.

Where are we now?

As Julia Belluz reported at Vox, Lyme cases tripled between 2004 and 2016, spread by an increased number of infected ticks. It’s now the most common vector-borne (a.k.a. transmitted by an insect) in the United States. And climate change seems to be partly to blame: As temperatures warm, a greater proportion of the US becomes hospitable to the ticks. Overall, vector-spread diseases like Chikungunya, Zika, and West Nile are spreading faster than ever.

And, still, if you wanted to protect yourself with a Lyme disease vaccine, you couldn’t get one. As Belluz explained, prevention efforts currently focus around avoiding tick bites. That means covering up exposed skin when spending time in wooded areas, using insect repellant sprays, and checking your body for ticks (and removing them) after you’ve spent time outdoors in tick-laden areas.

WBUR in Boston reports there have been some small efforts to revive LYMErix (its patent has now expired), but the pharmaceutical industry has lost interest in it, and grassroots efforts have gone unfunded. The Lyme vaccine for dogs works in a similar manner to LYMErix. And while it does help control the spread of the disease, it doesn’t make up for the lack of a vaccine in humans.

“Low demand for the vaccine and its subsequent withdrawal from the market represent a loss of a powerful tool for Lyme disease prevention,” the authors of the Epidemiology and Infection article state. For many, symptoms last months, leading to painful arthritis, heart problems, and nerve pain. Though Lyme is treatable, it needs to be diagnosed early for people to avoid its worst symptoms. A vaccine would provide a greater margin of error if a tick bite goes unnoticed.

Unscientific anti-vaccine movements leave us all more unsafe down the line. We see examples of this in the news all the time. Diseases long-controlled by vaccines, like the measles, are now starting to pop back up in concerning numbers. In Japan, vaccination rates for HPV vaccine plummeted in recent years due to fear-mongering.

Vaccines can be a hard sell because people need to take them when they’re healthy. And no vaccine has zero risks of some side effects. But when we take a vaccine, we’re not just protecting ourselves. We’re protecting those around us, and ensuring a less-infected future. The LYMErix vaccine was optional, and anti-vaccine fears have left millions without the option to take it at all.

A French company is developing a new Lyme vaccine, New Scientist reports. It would protect against the different strains of Lyme that circulate worldwide, but it’s only just getting out of Phase I safety trials, which means it would be many years before it arrives on the market, if proven safe.

We can’t count on having a vaccine anytime soon. But we can count on more ticks coming our way.

Source:   https://www.vox.com/science-and-health/2018/5/7/17314716/lyme-disease-vaccine-history-effectiveness

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CDC Report: Illness From Tick Bites Rising, Symptoms, Prevention

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Warming weather means spending more time outside for most, whether it’s to play with the dog or go for a hike. But before heading out it’s important to consider putting on some insect repellant or covering up.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention announced last week that illnesses due to bites from mosquitoes, fleas and ticks are on the rise. The insects may seem like they’re simply pesky but they actually can carry dangerous pathogens that cause illness. Since 2004, the number of reported cases of disease have tripled, according to the CDC.

Ticks alone caused nearly 500,000 disease cases between 2004 and 2016 throughout the 50 states and United States territories, CDC data shows. The diseases ticks carry include Lyme, Anaplasmosis/ehrlichiosis, Babesiosis and other serious illnesses, according to the CDC. Part of the reason the number of cases has increased has to do with the fact that, “The geographic range of ticks that spread the bacteria that cause Lyme disease has steadily expanded over the past 20 years,” a CDC spokesperson told Newsweek.

tick illness Disease cases from infected mosquitoes, ticks, and fleas have tripled in 13 years, according to the CDC. Centers for Disease Control 

Source:   http://www.newsweek.com/tick-bite-symptoms-removal-cdc-illness-increasing-915708


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