Tuesday, February 17, 2009

Chimps and Possibly You Infected with Lyme Disease?

Splashed across the media and internet the story has spread like wildfire, “Lyme-infected chimpanzee goes on the attack, injuring handler!”

Yet another confirmation of the prevalence of what is now recognized as the most rapidly spreading infectious disease. The following will bring you up to speed on this illness that is being confirmed in well over 200,000 Americans every year.

The new “Great Imitator,” Lyme Disease, is increasingly being confirmed in cases of misdiagnosed chronic illnesses.

It is said to be the “great imitator” because its symptoms are so diverse that it can mimic 200 illnesses. This fact, and the fact that there have been no good laboratory tests available to positively confirm Lyme Disease, has led to the polarization of the medical and scientific community on the topic of Lyme. (list of potential symptoms).

In the United States, what ultimately came to be known as Lyme Disease started in the city of Lyme, Connecticut, in early 1975 with an epidemic of “juvenile rheumatoid arthritis.” By 1982, Dr. William Burgdorfer, M.D., identified the cause of an illness sweeping the area as a spiral-shaped bacterium (spirochete), ultimately named Borrelia burgdorferi.

Of course, this type of bacteria has been with us throughout history. Historical records document what is now called Lyme Disease as far back as 1882 in Europe. The classic presentation was a tick bite and bulls-eye rash with joint pain and neurological symptoms.

For years, it was thought to be confined to a few northeastern states, but as time passed it became apparent that surrounding states were also reporting the infection at an alarming rate.

Research now confirms that Lyme disease is rampant throughout much of the United States and Europe.

In the 2008 movie, Under Our Skin; The Untold Story of Lyme, by Open Eye Pictures, Inc. and important quote stands out, “The Centers for Disease Control admits that more than 200,000 people may acquire Lyme disease each year, a number greater than AIDS, West Nile Virus, and Avian Flu combined.”

Many people with confirmed infection never remember being bitten by a tick. Some of my patients have told me that they have never personally even seen a tick in their life.

It was once thought that one must have the bulls-eye rash in order to have Lyme Disease, but it is now known that only about 30% of individuals bitten by a Lyme-infected tick even develop a bulls-eye rash, so having no rash does not rule out Lyme Disease.

It is well recognized that people suffering from Lyme Disease may also have other infections going on at the same time, such as Babesia microti, Ehrlichiosis, viruses (EBV, CMV, and HHV-6), and Candidiasis.

To make matters worse, we are now realizing that mycoplasmal infections can be detected in the blood of 60-70% of all LD/CFS/FMS sufferers.
Lyme spirochetes may lay dormant for weeks or years after initial infection. This dormancy is due to the fact that no bacteria or virus can replicate (reproduce) at will in a healthy body.

This will be discussed in detail later. For now, understand that the Lyme spirochetes may lay dormant in a healthy body until the individual experiences a stress on the body that weakens the body’s control mechanisms, thereby allowing the spirochetes to replicate and spread out of control.

Deer are considered one of the primary carriers of Lyme bacteria, but in fact no animal has been found immune to infection. Even dogs, cats, and farm animals have often been found infected with Lyme Disease. It is this author’s belief that a large percentage of all domesticated livestock are already infected.

The fact that Lyme spirochetes have been cultured from virtually every body fluid in cows, including whole blood, colostrum and fresh milk, with no conferred immunity, makes one question the safety of such products.

A report of research conducted with the School of Veterinary Medicine, University of Wisconsin, stated, “Because spirochetes (Borrelia burgdorferi) could be isolated from blood, synovial fluid, colostrum, and urine, these animals (cows and horses) could be important in providing an infected blood meal for ticks and bringing B. burgdorferi in direct contact with humans.”

Being a vegetarian never sounded so good! At the very least not eating undercooked meat seems prudent.

The nice thing about the correct diagnosis of Lyme disease is that it is treatable, with a hope of permanent recovery through natural methods.


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