Lyme disease can become a crippling lifelong chronic illness affecting children, adults and pets.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention estimates that more than 300,000 people are diagnosed with Lyme disease each year. Scientists are already saying this is going be to a particularly bad year and receiving greater numbers of reported tick bites throughout New England and the rest of the country.
Deer are often blamed for being carriers of Lyme disease, infecting the ticks who feed on them, who then jump on to human hosts. But mice are among the most effective carriers of the Lyme bacterium, infecting 95 percent of the deer ticks who feed on them, making mice responsible for most of the Lyme disease spread in the Northeast.
Unfortunately there was a huge explosion in the mice population in 2016 across the northeastern United States, which means a potentially similar-sized surge in cases of Lyme disease this year. One mouse often carry up to 100 deer ticks on their face and body.
Ecologists Felecia Keesing and Rick Ostfeld, who have studied Lyme for more than 20 years, have come up with an early warning system for the disease. They can predict how many cases there will be a year in advance by looking at one key measurement: Count the mice the year before. Mice also know no bounds; they are as prevalent in rural areas as they are urban areas. Remember how the plague spread!
Deer ticks are tiny, as small as a poppy seed, and easy to miss, and not everyone gets the bull’s-eye rash that usually accompanies a Lyme-infected tick bite. The flu-like symptoms that occur after being infected are also easy to misdiagnose. Some people however do get a serious red rash & burning pain reaction.
Ticks must be attached to its host for 36-48 hours or more for the Lyme bacterium to transfer to their host.
All New England states, along with New York, New Jersey and Delaware are dealing with exponential growth of this problem. In 2013, 95% of confirmed Lyme disease cases were reported from 14 states: Connecticut, Delaware, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, Minnesota, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New York, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, Vermont, Virginia and Wisconsin.
According to the Massachusetts Department of Public Health, 5,665 confirmed & probable Lyme cases were reported in Massachusetts in 2013, an increase of 12 percent from the number of confirmed and probable cases reported in 2012. The numbers this year are expected to be significantly worse. Since the early '90s, the reported cases of Lyme disease have tripled.
Lyme disease can also be found in 80 countries throughout the world. If you are traveling be sure to check a worldwide map and go prepared! Not all types of ticks have been found to carry the Lyme bacterium, however check the area where you live or will be visiting for the specific species that do in that region.
Symptoms of Lyme disease happen in stages, however not everyone will experience them.
Typically three-to-thirty days after infection a rash called Erythem Migians will pop-up. It usually happens around day seven, and infected individuals will begin to notice a bulls-eye shaped red rash that grows outward and is warm to the touch. Early flu-like symptoms can include fatigue, chills, fever, headache, muscle and joint aches, and swollen lymph nodes.
The second stage happens within two months of contact. EM rashes often pop-up all over the body along with facial or Bell's palsy (loss of muscle tone in one or both sides of the face). Meningitis can also begin to creep up the spinal cord causing severe headaches and stiffness in the neck. Shooting pains and heart palpitations/dizziness are also common.
Months or even years after Lyme disease is contracted, bouts of arthritis/joint pain and severe swelling will likely come and go for periods of time. Five percent of patients also experience neurological symptoms.
Dr. C. Ben Beard, chief of the bacterial diseases branch of the CDC's division of vector-borne diseases, "While there's no evidence to link Lyme disease in pregnant women to birth defects, there is evidence that untreated Lyme disease can lead to miscarriage." The CDC says there are no reports of Lyme disease transmission from breast milk.
Scientists have found that the Lyme disease bacteria can live in blood that is stored for donation. Individuals being treated for Lyme disease with an antibiotic should not donate blood.
According to New York physician Dr. Daniel Cameron, a primary care physician and epidemiologist who has treated Lyme disease patients for close to 30 years, say, “Some insurance companies refuse to pay for treatment of Lyme disease in the absence of a positive test.”
However, he stresses that “the blood tests are only 20-30 percent accurate”. He also says, “Insurance companies may also refuse to pay for treatment of chronic Lyme disease because some physicians dispute the fact that chronic Lyme disease exists. “
Lyme disease is treatable, even using natural methods, but it can cause serious health problems when you wait too long to be treated. Unfortunately many people with Lyme disease don’t even know they have it until their symptoms are advanced. So Prevention is of utmost importance!
Of course the appropriate clothing and using a natural tick repellent is a must. Hicker’s Guard (Woodstock Herbal) lotion and spray is an effective Deet-free formula which is safe for children and pets too!
Also keep a lint roller in your car near your front door. If you have been out in the grass or woods roll your skin before getting into your car or home to remove ticks that are walking around on you! Particularly great for children!
We have found in our practice Oregano Oil is a great first line of prevention as well as treatment.
Oil of Oregano (Natural Factors or North American Herb capsules or drops) kills pathogenic bacteria without disrupting beneficial bacteria. The chief antimicrobial ingredient is carvacrol. Oregano Oil should contain at least 62-70% carvacrol content to be effective. Another antibacterial ingredient is terpenes.
Many people over the last few years who are gardeners, landscapers or outdoor enthusiasts have reported after taking 1 dose of Oregano Oil daily the ticks generally don’t latch on for long and in some circumstances they don’t seem to bite at all. If they do bite the natural antibiotic properties circulating in your system can help protect you against the bacterium.
Buying cheap Oregano Oil will not protect you!
If you do get bit Goldensalve (Barlow Herbal) contains lomatium which is a potent natural antibiotic that should be applied to a tick bite site immediately and increase the dosage of Oregano oil to 3x day for 2 weeks.
It’s time to protect against Lyme Disease before the ticks put the bite on you and it’s too late!
For prevention for children under 12 years old or pets contact us at the Tree of Life Wellness Center 508-336-4242. If you have Lyme Disease there are many other effective natural treatments available. Schedule a telephone or in-office appointment 508-336-4242.
Jane Jansen Holistic Practitioner Tree of Life Wellness Center Inc.
Host of Holistic Healthline Radio