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  • Lyme Lens

Lyme disease in the south...

There are two basic arguments when it comes to Lyme Disease. The first is whether or not Lyme Disease can become a chronic illness. The second is based on geography. In this argument, the scientists in this country are hashing it out as to whether or not the ticks across this country can give you Lyme if you live in the northeast versus the south. Lyme Disease originally started in Lyme, Connecticut which is how it got its name. I will not get into the full history of how this disease progressed from there but it is well documented across the internet if you are interested.

The ongoing arguments that are plaguing this disease are not doing the patients who are suffering any favors. As a matter of fact, they are only delaying the progress to helping us get the treatment that we need to get better. There is one major point that the scientists are missing as they fight over whether or not there is Lyme Disease in the south. It is irrelevant WHERE you get bitten. The focus should be on the patients and where they live now. Lyme Disease is in the south because the patients who have Lyme Disease live in the south. I know this because I am one of them.

I happened to be bitten thirteen years ago when I was living in the northeast but I moved to the south eight years ago. Does that mean that the doctors in Florida don’t need to know how to treat me because the ticks down here may not carry the spirochete borrelia burgdorferi? No. The focus should be that every physician across the country has the knowledge to treat Chronic Lyme Disease because people get bitten and then they move around. People travel this great country on vacation, for business or simply to live in different states and they are exposed to ticks that can bite them and give them the disease in an instant. Why are people arguing if there is Lyme in the ticks in certain states?

Even if people don’t travel, we are finding that the ticks are capable of traveling just as easily. They are attaching themselves to birds and hitching a ride to warmer climates for the season. The term “snowbirds” isn’t reserved for the tourists that flock from New England to Florida for the winter ya know? These little monsters are resilient, dangerous and capable of crossing state borders very easily. They are migrating and the scientists who take heed of this are the smart ones. Lyme Disease is not contained to strict borders and the sooner this is acknowledged the safer this country will be. It is time to stop arguing and start focusing on ways to reduce the tick population before more people get bitten.

I truly don’t understand why the argument of geographical location continues with such fervor. The bottom line should be, “Where are the sick people located and how can we help them?” It is irrelevant if the tick that bit me was located in the north or the south. I am seriously ill with Chronic Lyme Disease and I live in the south now.

Do I believe that Lyme Disease exists in the ticks in the south? Absolutely. I have met many people who have never left the state of Florida and they are very sick with Chronic Lyme Disease. There is no difference between me and those other people. They were bitten here and I was bitten up north. We both live here now and we both have the same needs. We are slowly dying from a disease while everyone that can help us is too busy arguing if the ticks are infected or not.

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