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Lyme disease may benefit more from antibiotics than previously thought
Date: 2012-08-30 21:31:34

People who screen positive in Lyme disease blood tests may undergo a course of antibiotics for two to four weeks following diagnosis. Typically, this treatment will stop if symptoms do not resolve, as recommended by guidelines from the Infectious Diseases Society of America and the American Academy of Neurology.

However, new research from Brown University suggests that the studies that informed these guidelines were flawed.

"The goal of the paper is to clarify what was actually found from these clinical trials and what could be said and what couldn't be said," said researcher Allison DeLong. "A lack of evidence should not be used to deny treatment when the studies have serious flaws."

DeLong and colleagues reviewed four previous studies on the impact of antibiotics among Lyme disease patients. They found several problems with these studies, including small sample sizes, unrealistically high expectations of differences between treated and non-treated individuals, and subjects tainted by the placebo effect.

Ultimately, the team concluded that antibiotics may still be beneficial, at least until scientists investigate the matter further.

In the meantime, people who wonder about whether they have an active infection may want to consider taking Lyme disease blood tests.

... Full Story

Ohio experiences spike in Lyme disease
Date: 2012-09-04 22:35:11

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) stated that nearly 30,000 instances of Lyme disease were reported in the Northeast and upper Midwest U.S. regions in 2009. The organization also suspected that 8,500 other illnesses that weren't diagnosed as Lyme disease could have been exactly that. Lyme disease blood testing is required to determine if symptoms the CDC lists - fever, rash, exhaustion, stunned facial muscles or aching joints - are due to this infection. If untreated for long periods of time, the bacterial illness could lead to more serious conditions, such as brain, nervous system and heart damage.

A recent article from documents Ohio officials' anxiety about an increase in potentially disease-carrying ticks in their state.

"We're finding ticks in places we didn't find them before, and we know some of those ticks are infected," said Glen Needham, associate professor of entomology at Ohio State University, quoted by the news source.

Another official, Richard Gary of the Ohio Department of Health, told that he suspects the steady rise in the tick population could be due to infected birds, livestock or deer entering Ohio from other areas. The news source states there have been 34 cases of the illness, which could have been confirmed by Lyme disease blood testing in Ohio this year, as opposed to what the CDC reports as 21 cases in 2010.

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Scientist spreads a warning about Lyme disease
Date: 2012-09-06 13:59:56

British researcher Richard Bingham is in the process of conducting new experiments on Lyme disease, hoping to enhance prevention, detection and treatment methods for the vector-borne illness.

Individuals who experience flu-like symptoms after being bitten by a tick should promptly send for Lyme disease blood testing. If undetected and untreated, Lyme disease can progress to do significant damage to the heart, brain and nervous system, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

"When a warm blooded mammal comes along, the ticks attach themselves to the skin and start to feed. The bacteria is actually inside the gut of the tick and it gets injected into the host through the salivary glands of the tick and once it's in your bloodstream, it starts to reproduce and can cause a quite nasty infection," said Bingham, of the University of Huddersfield.

Caused when the Borrelia burgdorferi bacteria enters a human circulatory system through a tick bite, Lyme disease can latch onto natural blood proteins, thereby masking itself from immune systems, according to a statement from the University of Huddersfield.

The university's release also says that Lyme disease blood testing confirmed 1,578 instances of the bacterial disease in the U.K. in 2009, while only 346 cases were reported in 2003.

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Lyme disease not as prevalent in Southeast
Date: 2012-09-10 20:19:20

New research appearing in the journal Zoonoses and Public Health says that, although many people in the Northeast and Midwest require Lyme disease blood tests after being bitten by a tick, residents of the Southeast region of the U.S. don't have to worry about Lyme disease as much as other tick-borne illnesses.

"The lone star tick is by far the most abundant tick in the Southeast, and which species of tick bites you is critical because different ticks carry different diseases. In the Southeast, you are unlikely to be bitten by the blacklegged ticks that spread Lyme disease," said study author Ellen Stromdahl, entomologist from the U.S. Army Public Health Command.

The scientists' report points to a study where 13 out of 20 tick bite victims were prescribed antibiotics for Lyme disease. However, almost none the of ticks removed from these individuals were known to spread the vector-borne illness. Researchers say that spotted fever rickettsiosis and ehrlichiosis are conveyed through infected ticks in the Southwest, but Lyme disease blood tests administered to southerners normally produce negative results.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention states that of the nearly 30,000 cases of Lyme disease confirmed during 2009, the majority took place in the Northeast or Midwest.

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Expert warns of worst summer for Lyme disease in years
Date: 2012-06-21 15:29:55
Lyme disease cases tend to pick up during the summer months, but experts are saying that this year could be particularly bad. Individuals who live in forested areas where they may come in contact with ticks should consider Lyme disease testing to ensure they do not have the condition.... Full Story

Experts warn of dangers of Lyme disease
Date: 2012-05-22 15:51:04
As the temperatures warm and people start spending more time outside, the need for Lyme disease testing increases, experts say. Getting out of the house puts individuals in close proximity to many animals that transmit the disease, most notably ticks.... Full Story

Lyme disease presents varied symptoms
Date: 2012-05-16 15:44:58
Individuals who are experiencing symptoms like confusion or memory lapses may benefit from talking to their doctor about Lyme disease testing. Experts say the condition may present a number of vague and confusing symptoms, which can make diagnosing the disease somewhat difficult.... Full Story

High Lyme disease rates predicted for this year
Date: 2012-03-16 15:58:20
Experts are predicting a surge in the number of people who receive positive Lyme disease tests this spring, and they are blaming high production of acorns last fall and large mouse populations throughout much of the Northeast.... Full Story

More research needed develop preventative approaches to Lyme disease
Date: 2012-01-05 16:58:05
In order to reduce the number of people receiving positive Lyme disease blood tests, further research must be conducted into how the infection spread and factors that affect carriers of it, according to a new study published in the Journal of Medical Entomology.... Full Story

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