LGLC Living Lands Series 2020

The third presentation in the Lake George Land Conservancy’s Living Lands Series of 2020 features Dr. Holly Ahern, Associate Professor of Microbiology at SUNY Adirondack and Vice President of the Lyme Action Network. She has extensive teaching and research experience in bacteriology and molecular biology. As an expert on the scientific literature pertaining to Lyme disease and other tick-borne infections, Ahern has served on the NYS Senate Tick-borne Disease Task Force and on the Testing and Diagnostics subcommittee of the HHS Tick-borne Disease Working Group in 2018. Her talk informs on the state of the science surrounding ticks and tick-borne diseases like Lyme disease.



Ahern states that Borrelia Miyamotoi is NOT associated with a rash.  Not so fast:

For decades misinformation has abounded with Lyme disease rashes:
  1. The guidelines state that 60-80% of Lyme patients will get a rash, NOT TRUE.  It’s highly variable.
  2. Rashes must expand to 5 cm and beyond to be from Lyme.  NOT TRUE.
  3. Typically Lyme rashes will take the form of a bull’s eye or target.  NOT TRUE.

So we must be extremely careful in what we state about Borrelia Miyamotoi:

Ahern most probably obtained the “no rash” information from a Shapiro and Wormser study that states, “B. miyamotoi in the United States typically do not have a rash.” Study explained here:

“Typically” is such a small word but can mean so much.  One word can keep patients from being diagnosed and treated, causing a life-time of suffering.

I would say we must tread carefully when stating supposed facts as this is a relatively newly studied organism. Having a rash is diagnostic for illness, but NOT having one does NOT mean you aren’t infected – just like with Lyme. Mainstream medicine is woefully uneducated about ALL tick-borne illness and we must make sure so-called facts are not limiting patients from diagnosis and treatment.

The rash issue has hurt patients for decades. Let’s make sure it doesn’t hurt patients with Bm.  Testing is already missing most patients.

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