View Full Version : Something new to worry about

01-26-2013, 11:18
A new tick-borne disease that may be stealthily infecting some Americans has been discovered by Yale researchers working with Russian scientists.
The disease is caused by a spirochete bacterium called Borrelia miyamotoi, which is distantly related to Borrelia burgdorferi, the spirochete that causes Lyme disease (http://health.nytimes.com/health/guides/disease/lyme-disease/overview.html?inline=nyt-classifier).
B. miyamotoi has been found — albeit relatively rarely — in the same deer tick species that transmit Lyme, and the Yale researchers estimate that perhaps 3,000 Americans a year pick it up from tick bites, compared with about 25,000 who get Lyme disease.
But there is no diagnostic test for it in this country, so it is not yet known whether it has actually made any Americans sick.
The same short course of antibiotics (http://topics.nytimes.com/top/news/health/diseasesconditionsandhealthtopics/antibiotics/index.html?inline=nyt-classifier) that normally cures Lyme also seems to cure it.
In Russia, where a team in the Siberian city of Yekaterinburg developed a test that can distinguish miyamotoi from other tick-borne spirochetes, it caused higher fevers than Lyme disease typically does. In about 10 percent of cases, the fevers repeatedly disappear and return after a week or two.
The study (http://wwwnc.cdc.gov/eid/pdfs/10-1474-ahead_of_print.pdf) by the two teams is to be published soon in the journal Emerging Infectious Diseases. Since the disease was only recently discovered, it is unknown whether it does serious long-term damage, as untreated Lyme disease can.
The Yale medical school researchers — Durland Fish, an entomologist, and Dr. Peter J. Krause, an epidemiologist — have recently won a grant from the National Institutes of Health to study the symptoms and develop a rapid diagnostic kit.
Dr. Fish found B. miyamotoi in American ticks (http://health.nytimes.com/health/guides/poison/ticks/overview.html?inline=nyt-classifier) 10 years ago, but was repeatedly refused a study grant until the Russians proved it caused illness. “It’s been like pulling teeth,” he said. “Go ask the N.I.H. why.”
The discovery will no doubt add to the controversy surrounding Lyme disease. While most Lyme victims are cured by a two-week course of antibiotics, some have symptoms that go on for years and believe they have persistent infections that the antibiotics did not reach.
Most medical authorities, including the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and the Infectious Disease Society of America, take the position that “chronic Lyme disease (http://health.nytimes.com/health/guides/disease/lyme-disease-chronic-persistent/overview.html?inline=nyt-classifier)” does not exist and that those victims either have other illnesses or are hypochondriacs. They oppose the solution demanded by some self-proclaimed victims: long-term intravenous antibiotics.
Dr. Krause said it was unlikely that the new spirochete could be responsible for chronic Lyme, because the symptoms do not match: Most of those who think they have chronic Lyme complain of fatigue and joint pain (http://health.nytimes.com/health/guides/symptoms/joint-pain/overview.html?inline=nyt-classifier), not repeated fevers.
But he said doctors might consider the new infection, especially in patients who think they have been bitten by ticks, come up negative on Lyme tests and have recurrent episodes of fever (http://health.nytimes.com/health/guides/symptoms/fever/overview.html?inline=nyt-classifier).
B. miyamotoi does not appear to cause the “bull’s-eye rash” that helps doctors diagnose Lyme disease, the Russian team found.
“People shouldn’t panic,” Dr. Krause said. “And they also should not jump to the conclusion that we’ve found the cause of chronic Lyme disease. It’s not highly likely, but it’s possible. We just don’t know.”
The miyamotoi spirochete was discovered in Japan in 1995. It was at first believed to be limited to those islands.
In 2001, Dr. Fish found it in about 2 percent of the deer ticks in the Northeast and Upper Midwest and proved that mice could pick it up from tick bites.

01-26-2013, 11:22
And another:

In 2011 I came down with something call anaplasmoisis, a tick borne disease and end up in the hospital in Harrisburg, PA. Came up negative for Lyme but was so weak I could barely walk. It turns out both of these respond to doxicyclene, the routine treatment for Lyme. You might want to consider carrying a course of doxicyclene.

01-26-2013, 13:44
How does one carry a 'course' of doxicyclene? Doesn't it require a prescription?

01-26-2013, 14:13
You ask your Dr for a prescription in case you need it

01-26-2013, 14:44
Yes, just carry the prescription. You don't want to keep a large supply of this antibiotic for a long time as it breaks down into a form that is toxic to the liver. Never use it if it is expired--the pharmacist will date it when it is filled.

01-26-2013, 17:00
One 200 mg dose taken after a tick has been embedded 36 hrs is protocol.

If it's been there a while or you exhibit the signs of Lyme, then you need to take the drug more often.

01-26-2013, 17:53
I remember fighting off Giant Ticks when I was in high school.
No wait, than was D&D.