U of I Team to Lead Nearly $6 Million Study of Lyme Disease, Tick-borne Illnesses

U of I team to lead nearly $6 million study of Lyme disease, tick-borne illnesses

Tick-borne illnesses like Lyme disease, Rocky Mountain Spotted Fever and anaplasmosis have more than doubled from 2004 to 2016, according to the CDC.

The four-year, $6 million National Science Foundation study will see researchers design a data framework that will help track the spread of illnesses linked to tick bites. Teams are particularly focused on the spread of disease east-to-west across the U.S., according to the University.

“The thing about tick data is, once you get out of the Midwest and East Coast, these data are very sparse,” said Lucas Sheneman, grant participant and director of U of I’s data management center, the Northwest Knowledge Network. “Databases that are out there are so siloed, they don’t communicate with each other. What we’re proposing is developing one comprehensive data framework to offer compatible resources to scientists and the general public.”

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Creating a database is helpful as long as these databases are not then used to harm patients by denying their illness (which has been done for over 40 years). I was just contacted by a person who had the “classic bullseye rash” but was told she couldn’t have Lyme because the tick she collected wasn’t the kind to spread Lyme.  First – the tick she collected might not have been the tick she didn’t see and collect that infected her.  Second – ticks are constantly adapting and carrying new pathogens.  Third – a bullseye rash is DIAGNOSTIC for Lyme disease.  PERIOD.  No further testing required.  But, this sort of nonsense and doctor ignorance plays out on a daily basis regarding TBI’s.

Studying climate change in regards to ticks is a red-herring and waste of time:  Dr. Patrick Michaels, director of the Center for the Study of Science at the Cato Institute, provides insight into the debate over climate change and the political games played to create policy.

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