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» LymeNet Flash » Questions and Discussion » Medical Questions » Newspaper article on recent Lyme talk in PA

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Author Topic: Newspaper article on recent Lyme talk in PA
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This was on the front page of the Chadds Ford Post, a local paper in Southern Chester County.

I called the editor to thank him for the coverage and ask him if he could include the article on the website- and he did!

Southern Chester County is an epicenter for Lyme epidemic

By Sara L Hudson

"We are living in the epi-center of an epidemic."

That's what Harvey L. Kliman, president of Lyme Disease Association of
Southeastern Pennsylvlania told a crowd of concerned Pennsylvanians during
lectures by experts on Sunday, June 10, at Garnet Valley High School.
According to a post card survey the Lyme Disease Association conducted in
Pocopson Township, of the 50 percent who participated, all have or have had
someone in their family affected by Lyme disease.

"This disease spares no one." Kliman said, "Twenty percent of the cases in
Pocopson infected were school-age children." The oldest infected person in
the survey is 102 years in age, the youngest three months, he said.
High-risk season for Lyme runs from April to the end of October when ticks
are most active, meaning children on summer break playing outside and others
at home in their yards and gardens are at the highest risk of infection
right now.

Pat Smith, president of the Lyme Disease Association, talked about the
disease itself and how scary and hard it is to diagnosis. She said the Lyme
disease bacteria, borrelia burgdorferi, can be transmitted within hours of a
tick bite.

Keynote speaker Dr. Ann F. Corson, agreed and said within just two hours
after a tick bite, borrerlia can be found in the brain, affecting the
nervous system and causing debilitating problems such as weakening the
immune system and causing chronic illnesses and infections. With symptoms
ranging from anxiety and joint stiffness, all the way to facial paralysis
and heart palpitations, the disease cannot afford to be taken lightly, she

Corson also said Lyme disease is the most prevalent vector borne disease in
the United States, and the most prevalent vector-borne bacterial disease in
the world.

Since Lyme can affect concentration, memory loss (both short and long term),
restless legs, forgetting how to perform a simple task, speech difficulty
and confusion, among many, many others, Smith said she wondered how many
children diagnosed with attention deficit disorder or attention
deficit-hyperactive disorder on drugs such as Ritalin, really just have an
undiagnosed case of Lyme. There has been a rise in both ADD or ADHD over the
years as Lyme has become more prevalent, Smith said.

The problem, according to Smith, is that the Center for Disease Control
refuses to acknowledge Lyme disease as an epidemic or to spend the correct
amount of money and time on the issue. The CDC conditions for recognizing a
case of Lyme include the EM rash (a classic bull-eye rash) after a tick bite
and/or if there is major system involvement such as a cardiac, neurological
problems, etc. One must also have a positive test.

"This is where most of the problems come in," Smith said, "The EM rash
occurs less than 50 percent of the time when a person is infected with
Lyme." People can get other kinds of rashes but the CDC won't recognize them
as a sign of Lyme. And the blood work to test for Lyme is only 50 percent
accurate, Smith continued.

Corson talked about the social and medical impact of Lyme and associated
tick borne diseases. "Lyme is a disease of our brains and nervous systems.
It affects who we are, the essence of our selves." The longer a person has
Lyme the more infected a person becomes, with the possibility of symptoms
becoming permanent even after treatment, she said.

A representative from DEET education program, Ed Tate, was at the lecture to
talk about prevention. Tate recommends spraying shoes, socks, pants,
sleeves, gloves, and hat with a permethrin deer tick insecticide. Permethrin
is a synthetic chemical developed to stimulate the natural chemical
pyrethrum that protects plants from insect attacks. One treatment can last
two weeks, but do not spray on skin -- clothes only.

On skin, an insect repellent containing DEET can be used, as well as
clothing if one does not find a permethrin insecticide. The higher the DEET,
the more preventative it is, but many suggest only a DEET of 10 percent for

Tate also that that light colored clothing that fits loosely, and a hat to
protect your head are also advantageous to protect oneself from Lyme and
other tick related infections. He suggested making insect repellent and tick
scans of the body part of a family's daily routine.

Corson gave examples of her patients, and how, once they were treated,
responded extremely well. One patient was in a mental facility/high school,
suffering from manic attacks when Corson treated him with intravenous
antibiotics. After one year she said her patient is now happily adjusted and
attending a normal public high school. Another of her patients was schedule
for brain surgery to stop seizures, but after Corson treated her, she is
surgery and seizure-free.

The issue that all experts stressed was that Lyme disease is a serious
health issue, affecting the lives of millions, causing pain, suffering and
life threatening illness that can be ongoing throughout a persons life --
and that something must be done about it.

Posts: 116 | From Pennsylvania | Registered: Mar 2005  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
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Excellent job. A service to that community. Seems like the smaller papers can tell the truth, but not the big guys. Why?
Posts: 8430 | From Not available | Registered: Oct 2000  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
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Member # 6631

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Thanks for posting this LC!

yahoo 360

Posts: 986 | From Michigan | Registered: Dec 2004  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator

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