Alarming Stats From The CDC Regarding The Rise of Lyme Disease

By -
In our continuing effort to be your resource for all your healthcare needs, it is important for us to share the information below on Lyme Disease.
 
Feel free to contact us for more information at 610-429-1200.

Previously, the CDC (Centers for Disease Control) and Prevention reported that on average approximately 33,000 cases of Lyme Disease are reported annually.  On Sunday, August 18, 2013, at the 2013 International Conference on Lyme Borreliosis and Other Tick-Borne Diseases, preliminary estimates now indicate the number is more like 300,000 diagnosed per year.

 What is Lyme Disease?

Lyme Disease was first noted in 1975 when a cluster of adults and children, residing in Lyme, Connecticut, complained of uncommon arthritic conditions.  As we are approaching the 40-year mark of “knowing” this disease, the medical community is no closer to understanding it, diagnosing it, or agreeing on the treatment for it.
 
Lyme Disease is the most commonly reported tick-borne illness in the United States, with 96% of the disease coming from 13 states:  Connecticut, Delaware, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, Minnesota, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New York, Pennsylvania, Vermont, Virginia, and Wisconsin.  Pennsylvania has the most reported cases in the nation, with Chester County reporting more cases than any other county in the state.
 
Previously, the CDC (Centers for Disease Control) and Prevention reported that on average approximately 33,000 cases of Lyme Disease are reported annually.  On Sunday, August 18, 2013, at the 2013 International Conference on Lyme Borreliosis and Other Tick-Borne Diseases, preliminary estimates now indicate the number is more like 300,000 diagnosed per year.
 
Several factors have caused this great discrepancy in figures with the most significant reason being lack of sufficient diagnostic testing.  These tests fail to indicate whether the disease is acute, chronic, or recurrent.  This presents many challenges for the treating physician, because there is no singular definitive way to diagnose, or treat a patient with Lyme disease.  Yet, insurance companies have set treatment “guidelines” for patients diagnosed with Lyme, based on the CDC’s information.  
 
These guidelines often leave people, who continue to suffer from debilitating symptoms after the course of antibiotics, without the possibility of further treatment because the insurance industry refuses to pay for continued antibiotics for people with “chronic Lyme”, or as it is now termed, Post-treatment Lyme Disease Syndrome (PTLDS).
 
Most diagnosed with Lyme Disease and treated early with a 21 – 28 day course of oral antibiotics need no further treatment.  However, it is those who continue to have symptoms after treatment (PTLDS) who suffer a poor quality of life.  Furthermore, the PTLDS Diagnosis itself is being questioned.  Some in the medical community believe it to be similar to an autoimmune response related to the original infection; while others believe that the new symptoms are related to a new infection; while still others think that the tick may have also carried and transmitted other diseases along with the Lyme.
 
According to Leonard Schuchman, DO, MPH, FAAFP, Tick Borne Disease Center of Southeastern Pennsylvania, while physicians need to utilize the ELISA and the Western Blot, these tests should be used as guides.  The ability to come to a conclusive diagnosis involves taking into full account the patient’s history, clinical presentation, and symptoms.
 
Insurance companies have developed guidelines that limit the amount of antibiotics a patient can receive with a diagnosis of Lyme disease, regardless if their symptoms continue. In some severe cases, IV antibiotic treatment can last for months.
 
Each person’s immune system reacts differently to infections, whether it comes from a tick, or another source; patients who are sick and suffering expect to have access to treatment and for the treatment to be covered by their insurer, after all, that is why consumers pay for health insurance.
 
“Healthcare is about alleviating suffering and eliminating sickness, not about applying guidelines which are based on very limited data that tie physician’s hands when trying to treat the sick and leave them suffering.” 
 

Lyme Disease Symptoms (Can include, but not limited to…)


• Fatigue
• Low grade fever, ‘hot flashes’ or chills
• Headache
• Sore throat
• Swollen glands
• Stiff Neck
• Migrating arthralgias (in other words pain/swelling could start in wrists and move to knees or other large joints)
• Muscle aches
• Chest pain and palpitations
• Abdominal pain, nausea
• Diarrhea
• Sleep disturbances
• Poor concentration/memory loss (feeling like you’re in a “fog”)
• Irritability
• Depression
• Back pain
• Blurry vision/eye pain
• Jaw pain
• Ringing in the ears
• Dizziness/Lightheadedness
• Facial numbness/weakness (Bell’s Palsy)


 

Feel free to contact us for more information.
 
Sincerely,
Linda M Raileanu RN, MM/PA, BSN
Genuine Healthcare Resources, LLC
610-429-1200
Meghan Kelly

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *