The Arkansas Department of Health recently determined that two cases of tickborne disease met the surveillance definition for Lyme disease. A case in Arkansas has not met the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s (CDC) surveillance definition since 2007.

A news report emphasizing the CDC’s belief Arkansas is a “low incident” state in regards to Lyme Disease, is countered by the Arkansas Lyme Foundation that claims at least 150 cases, and they just started counting.  (Video here)

“People are dying and I’m not exaggerating, people are calling us every week in desperate situations,” said Sikes.

Lyme patients can thank a local Arkansas mom for the recent ruling.  Alarie Bowerman of Benton County kept pushing until the Arkansas Department of Health and the CDC listened to her.  Nearly a year ago her three daughters were bit by ticks and despite bulls eye rashes and other glaring symptoms she was told that Lyme Disease is nonexistent in Arkansas, even though the Director of the  Infectious Disease Program admitted Arkansas has the ticks that transmit LD.  She had to take them out of state for treatment.

It’s another great example of never finding something you aren’t looking for or believe exists.

Arkansas State Epidemiologist, Dirk Haselow, says the problem is that Lyme Disease testing isn’t as defined as for other diseases and that there’s a difference between what doctors might diagnose as LD and that the Department of Health classifies as a reported case.

“A different group of people have evolved over time and they call themselves Lyme literate physicians,”  he said.  “They use a different algorithm and these two groups don’t agree on how Lyme should be diagnosed.”

And this is how it plays out in every state and country all over the world.  It is proclaimed that Lyme Disease doesn’t exist until someone gets stubborn enough to prove them all wrong.

Be stubborn!

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