Latent Lyme Disease Resulting in Chronic Arthritis and Early Career Termination in a United States Army Officer.
Lyme disease is a continuing threat to military personnel operating in arboriferous and mountainous environments. Here we present the case of a 24-year-old Second Lieutenant, a recent graduate from the United States Military Academy, with a history of Lyme disease who developed recurrent knee effusions following surgery to correct a hip impingement. Although gonococcal arthritis was initially suspected from preliminary laboratory results, a comprehensive evaluation contradicted this diagnosis.
Despite antibiotic therapy, aspiration of the effusions, and steroid treatment to control inflammation, the condition of the patient deteriorated to the point where he was found to be unfit for duty and subsequently discharged from active military service. This case illustrates the profound effect that latent Lyme disease can have on the quality of life and the career of an active duty military member. It highlights the need for increased surveillance for Borrelia burgdorferi (B. burgdorferi) in military training areas and for the early and aggressive diagnosis and treatment of military personnel who present with the symptoms of acute Lyme disease.
Published by Oxford University Press on behalf of the Association of Military Surgeons of the United States 2019.
After congressional investigation, he was finally discharged from the Air Force after 14 years of highly recognized and awarded military service that ended in shame because doctors did not understand Lyme disease. Attorneys laughed and joked as they decided he was no longer fit for duty and discharged him from the Air Force without benefits, pay, or health insurance. He was essentially dumped on the streets homeless, disabled, and unable to work, with a wife and a child to provide for.
Three decades later, the VA still cannot diagnose Lyme disease based upon symptoms.The VA did not recognize Lyme disease until the mid-1990s. That means that veterans who had Lyme disease before then were misdiagnosed and some are perhaps homeless and disabled. According to Sims the government is no wiser today than before they recognized Lyme disease.The real problem is:
military and VA healthcare systems follow CDC two-tier tests Lyme disease guidelines that capture less than 10% of Lyme disease cases nationwide.Over 90% of Lyme disease cases are diagnosed and treated by a minority of doctors who specialize in Lyme disease and tick-borne disease and understand CDC guidelines are fatally flawed.He also states that according to many medical experts, the largest cause of death from Lyme disease is suicide.
Ticks are found:
Rocks and picnic benches: https://madisonarealymesupportgroup.com/2017/03/13/ticks-found-on-rocks/
Caves: https://madisonarealymesupportgroup.com/2018/04/23/tick-borne-relapsing-fever-found-in-austin-texas-caves/, and https://madisonarealymesupportgroup.com/2017/10/27/israeli-kids-get-lyme-disease-from-ticks-in-caves/
In the South: https://madisonarealymesupportgroup.com/2018/05/31/no-lyme-in-the-south-guess-again/, and https://madisonarealymesupportgroup.com/2017/10/06/remembering-dr-masters-the-rebel-for-lyme-patients-who-took-on-the-cdc-single-handedly/, and https://madisonarealymesupportgroup.com/2017/03/02/hold-the-press-arkansas-has-lyme/
And everywhere else…..
Remember, there are 300 strains and counting of Borrelia worldwide and 100 strains and counting in the U.S. Current CDC two-tiered testing tests for ONE strain! Do the math….
There’s no such thing as a “safe” tick or an “irrelevant” tick bite.