“Anybody who is bitten by these bugs should be very conscious of any flu symptoms, high fevers, swelling over the eye,” said Dawn Gouge, an entomologist with the University of Arizona.
The CDC estimates that there are 300,000 cases of Chagas in the U.S., with most of those contracted in other countries. But the family of the girl who was bitten had not traveled outside the country recently, the statement said.
According to the World Health Organization, more than six million people are estimated to be infected globally.
Normally thought to be a Central American pest, it’s in the Southern United States; however, as seen in this article, its made it’s way around, just like ticks have.
This insect also flies.
Diagnosis of Chagas is made by identification of trypomastigotes in blood by microscopy. Circulating parasite levels decrease rapidly within a few months and are undetectable by most methods during the chronic phase.
Diagnosis of chronic Chagas disease is made by serologic tests for antibody to the parasite. A single test is not sufficiently sensitive and specific to make the diagnosis. For this reason, the standard approach is to apply two or more tests that use different techniques and that detect antibodies to different antigens. Commonly used techniques include enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay (ELISA) and immunofluorescent antibody test (IFA). Careful consideration of the patient’s history to identify possible risks for infection may be helpful.
According to the CDC, treatment is recommended for people diagnosed early in the course of infection (acute phase), babies with congenital infection, and for those with suppressed immune systems.Many patients with chronic infection may also benefit from treatment.
The two drugs used to treat infection with T. cruzi are nifurtimox and benznidazole. Benznidazole is approved by FDA for use in children 2–12 years of age and is available from www.benznidazoletablets.comExternal. Nifurtimox is not currently FDA approved but is currently available under investigational protocols from CDC. Side effects are fairly common with both drugs and tend to be more frequent and more severe with increasing age.
Common side effects of benznidazole treatment include the following:
Anorexia and weight loss
The most common side effects of nifurtimox include the following:
Kent ranks alongside northern Italy, Romania and Norway as a hotbed for blood-sucking ticks carrying Lyme disease, according to a new report.
The county has been ranked as one of the worst areas in Europe for the parasites – alongside London, East Sussex and parts of Essex in the South East.
The evidence has been compiled by experts from across Europe, including scientists from the University of East London, who combed through seven years worth of cases of bites from a type of tick called Ixodes ricinus.
This is the breed which spreads the Lyme disease carrying bacteria Borrelia burgdorferi sensu lato.
They warn because ticks breed best in warm weather, global warning will only spark a jump in their population, making then widespread across the UK – and much of the rest of Europe.
The South East danger zone is on a par with northern Italy, Romania, Switzerland and Norway when it comes to “very high” populations of the critters, creating a severe risk.
It has sparked a warning to holidaymakers if they are concerned about encountering the disease-carrying bugs.
The map below shows risk areas – including the central Netherlands, Copenhagen in Denmark and the coastal area near Gdansk, northern Poland.
Writing in the International Journal of Health Geographics, the study’s authors warn:
“The distribution of Ixodes ricinus continues to expand northwards in latitude and upwards in altitude in Europe.
“Climate trends and the density of key hosts for the adults of the tick, have been pointed as the main factors behind the spread of Ixodes ricinus.”
The scientists also studied geographical and climate data better understand what type of environment causes these ticks to thrive.
They found that ticks thrive in areas with a yearly average temperature of between 6.8ºc and 16.8ºc, meaning the UK’s mean temperatures of 9ºC-11ºC put it right in the danger zone.
The data also said areas where they thrive include areas with a low and gradual rise in spring temperatures, and a big rise in spring vegetation.
The authors add:
“The highest prevalence occurs in areas of 280°–290° Kelvin (6.85ºC – 16.85ºC) of mean annual temperature – around central Europe and southern parts of Nordic countries – and a slow spring rise of temperature, together with high mean values and a moderate spring rise of vegetation vigor.”
Meanwhile other maps looked at how predicted increases in temperature caused by climate change could see ticks carrying a certain strain of the bacteria which causes Lyme disease becoming widespread across the UK – and much of the rest of Europe.
There are lots of different strains of this Borrelia bacteria, including Borrelia afzelii, burgdorferi, garinii, lusitaniae, spielmanii and valaisiana – all of which cause Lyme disease in humans.
It’s the ‘B. afzelii’ strain that looks particularly dangerous in the UK, with red ‘very high’ zones spread around London and south west Essex, Brighton to the south, and across to the eastern coast of Kent.
There is also a hot spot of the strain B. garinii in the New Forest National Park between Southampton and Bournemouth.
If you are scared of ticks carrying infectious diseases on your holidays abroad, you might want to consider avoiding other European areas such as:
France: There are clusters near the cities of Lyon and St Etienne, as well as Orient Forest Regional Natural Park further north near Troyes.
Italy: The mountainous northern areas near Trento, and further east to the Slovenian border.
Norway: The entire southern coastline is also rife.
Leading UK pest control expert Mario Stanchev says Brits need to be vigilant – whether at home or abroad.
Mario, a technician with UK firm Fantastic Services, says:
“Ticks have been known to infest homes, both here and abroad, and you need to take precautions to stop that happening.
“Whether you’re travelling abroad this summer, or you’re simply out and about in one of the UK hotspots identified by this study, you should use a chemical repellent containing DEET (N,N-Diethyl-m-toluamide) to keep the creatures at bay.
“You should also wear light-coloured protective clothing that covers the skin, as well as tucking your trousers into your socks.
“What’s also vital is that you check your children and pets for any sign of a bite.
“And don’t assume that ticks only live in the forests or wild outdoor areas – they could just as easily be lurking in long grass in your garden, just waiting for you to walk past so they can hitch a ride.”
Mario says that if you do find ticks in your home, it is important to catch one of them and to place it in a sealed bag or container.
“Keep the tick for 30 days, just in case you or any members of your family start to experience any of the symptoms of Lyme disease.
“This tick specimen can then be analysed by doctors to either confirm or deny the presence of the bacteria.
“You might also want to return the tick to Public Health England, which has a tick recording and surveillance programme.
“You should also get into the habit of inspecting pets, children and yourself whenever you venture into green spaces – and that includes even small parks in city centres.
“As this study proves, you never know where they might lurk.”
According to the NHS, the most obvious sign you might have Lyme disease is a circular red ‘bullseye’ skin rash around a tick bite.
The NHS website also says:
“Some people also have flu-like symptoms in the early stages, such as a high temperature, or feeling hot and shivery, headaches, muscle and joint pain, tiredness and loss of energy.”
It’s also vital you learn how to remove a tick safely from your body.
The Fantastic Services team say that to remove a tick safely, use fine-tipped tweezers or a tick-removal tool.
Grasp the tick as close to the skin as possible. Slowly pull upwards, taking care not to squeeze or crush the tick.
And then clean the bite with antiseptic or soap and water.
Worryingly, cases of the disease are rising rapidly in the UK.
Last year Public Health England (PHE) revealed how confirmed Lyme disease infections had shot-up 35% between 2016 and 2017, with around 1,000 cases every year.
For Lyme Disease Awareness Month: Occupational Risk and Zoonotic Diseases
When mounted police officer Margie Raimondi developed fatigue and muscle pain after a year on the job, she sought medical help and tested positive for Lyme disease. After treatment she returned to work, but eventually after a fall she could no longer work and applied for workers compensation benefits.
People who have an adverse experience at work are often advised to keep detailed notes of exactly when these experiences occurred. Raimondi recalled many tick bites while she was working, but she hadn’t recorded any of them.
Despite this lack of records, she was eventually awarded workers compensation. Raimondi worked in New Jersey. If she had worked for the state of Maryland in certain jobs, the law gives the presumption to the worker that they acquired Lyme disease at work.
This is just one way that the law recognizes the occupational risk posed by exposure to “zoonotic” diseases. Zoonotic diseases are diseases that can be shared between humans and animals. The pathogens that cause them are transmitted in a variety of ways. For example, they can be acquired via direct contact with the saliva of an infected animal or by being bitten by infected vectors such as ticks and fleas.
Researchers estimate that approximately 60% of known infectious diseases are spread from animals to humans, and 75% of emerging infectious diseases are related to animal-human transmission.Bartonellosis, Lyme disease, and other tick-borne diseases are all considered zoonotic diseases.
“Occupational risks” are health and wellbeing risks associated with one’s job. These risks are generally categorized as chemical, biological, psychosocial or physical. Lyme disease and other zoonotic diseases are a biological risk for people who work outdoors or with animals. The level of risk an employee faces depends on the employee’s position and the geographic location of the job.
Occupational exposure to zoonotic pathogens has been researched around the world. Here are just some of the findings:
Gardeners and Soldiers: In a study of people in the Slovak Republic, these workers were almost as likely to be positive for Lyme disease as patients with neurological symptoms waiting to be tested at a neurology clinic.
Veterinary Workers: In the United States, Galaxy Diagnostics scientists worked with researchers at Duke University in 2014 to demonstrate that Bartonella species infection is an occupational risk for veterinary health workers. In this study, 28% of these workers were PCR-positive for Bartonella species infections.
National Park Service Employees: A study at two major US parks found that more than a third of the employees were positive for exposure to at least one tick-borne pathogen. The risk was slightly higher for front line workers than for managers.
Agricultural Workers and Foresters: A study in Poland found that the incidence of occupation-related diseases was 418 per 100,000 workers. Of these diseases, 92.4% were related to infectious pathogens; Lyme disease was the most common among them.
The best way for workers in these high-risk groups to protect themselves is to follow preventative measures that are recommended by their place of work and seek additional resources from organizations such as the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH), a research agency directed by the US Centers for Disease Control (CDC).
NIOSH recommends that employers provide workers exposed to ticks with training on how to protect themselves from tick bites and also provide them with tick repellents and insecticides. When uniforms are used, NIOSH recommends they provide full coverage of the skin.
Where possible, NIOSH also recommends reducing the risk at work sites. This can be done by controlling rodents, small animals and deer that access the work site and by clearing leaf litter and vegetation from the work site that may support a population of ticks and tick-borne pathogens.
For those who work directly with animals, such as veterinary workers, reducing risk through safe handling of animals and universal precautions is recommended. The National Association of State Public Health Veterinarians provides standard precautions that offer guidance for reducing biological risks in a veterinary setting. Furthermore, a study conducted in Seattle, Washington found that pet owner behavior can negatively influence the safety of veterinary workers. Veterinary workers who understand the importance of safety precautions and can communicate those reasons effectively to clients can decrease their occupational risk.
Employers in the US are required by law to provide employees with the information and supplies to protect themselves from occupational risks. Employees can further protect themselves by educating themselves about how to reduce their occupational risk.
Lantos, P. M. et al. (2014). Detection of Bartonella species in the blood of veterinarians and veterinary technicians: A newly recognized occupational hazard? Vector-Borne and Zoonotic Diseases, 14(8), 563-570. doi:10.1089/vbz.2013.1512 https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4117269/
Please click on link above to watch a short video. This PSA from Lia Gaertner & Shanti the dog show questing ticks in the middle of the sidewalk, demonstrating the need to be diligent with tick checks as well as spraying clothes/shoes with permethrin when out doors.
Ticks are being found in wide-open spaces now. No need to go deep in the woods or shrubby areas to find them.
Lyme disease is a bacterial infection that can be transmitted by ticks
It mimics a number of disorders such as arthritis, multiple sclerosis (MS), chronic fatigue syndrome, amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) and Alzheimer’s disease. Infected individuals also can appear to be completely healthy even though they are experiencing severe symptoms
Up to 300,000 people may contract Lyme disease each year in the U.S.
Lyme disease remains one of the most serious and controversial epidemics today.
Approximately 30,000 cases of Lyme disease are reported to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) every year. However, data from the standard national surveillance show that around 300,000 people are diagnosed with Lyme disease each year in the U.S.,1 indicating the disease is considerably underreported. But what exactly is Lyme disease and how can you contract it?
An Overview on Lyme Disease
Lyme disease is a bacterial infection that can be transmitted by ticks.2Some studies suggest that the bacteria that cause it can also be spread by other insects like fleas, mosquitoes and mites.3 Lyme disease is called “the great imitator” because it mimics a number of disorders such as arthritis, multiple sclerosis (MS), chronic fatigue syndrome, amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) and Alzheimer’s disease.4,5
It’s also called “the invisible illness,” as infected individuals can appear to be completely healthy even though they are experiencing severe symptoms.6
Lyme disease usually starts with a red, round rash that resemble a bull’s-eye. It then progresses with symptoms such as fatigue, fever, headaches and joint and muscle pain. It can then progress to muscle spasms, loss of motor coordination, intermittent paralysis, meningitis and even heart problems.7 The disease typically causes vague, dispersed pain, which is the reason it is often misdiagnosed as fibromyalgia even by experienced doctors.8
The best strategy against Lyme disease is to avoid being bitten by ticks and other insects. The CDC recommends checking your whole body carefully after going to a tick-infested area and taking a shower immediately after being outdoors, to wash off and easily find ticks or tick bites.9
Controversies Surrounding Chronic Lyme Disease
Many physicians now acknowledge that Lyme disease is real, but there is still controversy about whether it can become a chronic condition.10 Members of the Infectious Disease Society of America (IDSA) do not believe in chronic Lyme and generally will not treat a patient longer than the usual duration of treatment, which is four to six weeks.
On the other hand, members of the International Lyme and Associated Diseases Society (ILADS) believe that Lyme disease can persist and are willing to treat patients for a longer duration.11
According to a study funded by the National Institutes of Health, long-term antibiotic treatment is not beneficial for individuals with ongoing symptoms of Lyme disease, as it does not result in a positive prognosis and only increases the risks for complications such as biliary disease.12,13 It can also significantly decrease the beneficial bacteria in the gut and impair your natural immune function. To help manage this condition without complications, opt for safer holistic methods.
These Pages Will Help You Better Understand Lyme Disease
Take immediate action if you suspect that you, someone you know or your pet is infected with Lyme disease. Read these pages to learn more about Lyme disease, including its causes, stages, symptoms and treatment options. Learning crucial information about this potentially debilitating condition is an important step to helping lower your risk.
According to the CDC 42,743 people contracted Lyme in 2017; however, they estimate it’s 10 times that number, so the estimated number of NEW cases was close to 428,000. Since these numbers are already two years old and it’s only increased, it’s even higher than that.
Let’s break down the studies that supposedly show “long-term antibiotic treatment is not beneficial for individuals with ongoing symptoms of Lyme disease.”
The first clinical trial, which included two studies conducted at multiple research sites, had patients treated with 30 days of an intravenous antibiotic followed by 60 days of treatment with an oral antibiotic.
Another study, published in 2003, patients were treated with 28 days of intravenous antibiotic compared with placebo.
A subsequent study supported by NINDS gave patients that had at least three weeks of prior intravenous antibiotics, either 10 weeks of intravenous ceftriaxone or intravenous placebo.
A reappraisal of several of these studies concluded that IV antibiotics may provide benefit to PTLDS fatigue, but in light of significant adverse events they were not recommended and improved methods of treatment were needed.
I do not call a month or two of IV antibiotics “long term”treatment. Regarding the severe reactions by a few on IV antibiotics, many patients do not require IV’s at all, lessening the adverse events substantially. Everyone knows IV antibiotics come with risk but that is a risk patient and doctor should weigh against the severity of the case. To determine that IV antibiotics across the board are not worth the risk is like stating that due to severe reactions, cancer treatment should be discontinued for everyone at all times. Go here to read of a Milwaukee, WI doctor and IDSA founder who used 6-8 grams of IV antibiotics on many of his patients with success: https://madisonarealymesupportgroup.com/2017/07/09/idsa-founder-used-potent-iv-antibiotics-for-chronic-lyme/
BTW: long-term antibiotics have been used for acne, rheumatic fever, cystic fibrosis, and other diseases. Lyme/MSIDS can maim and kill you.
Studies used to supposedly show that long-term antibiotics don’t work are rigged from the get-go to reveal a pre-determined outcome.
I can tell you right now, my husband and I very well might not be on planet earth if it weren’t for judiciously used long-term oral antibiotics. I’m talking YEARS of treatment, not a month’s worth. If you watched “Under Our Skin,” the ranger stated,
“Who would have thought my greatest improvement came after 3 years of treatment.“
This has been our experience with many other patients saying the exact same thing.
In talking to Dr. Hoffman, RIP, and probably one of the most experienced practitioners in the state of Wisconsin, he told me that when he initially started treating people for this in the 70’s, before it even had a name, cases resolved within a couple of months to a year. Now, cases are taking 3 and more years for resolution. WHY? Good question. He, Dr. Burrascano, and Dr. Horowitz have all stated that coinfections weren’t as much of an issue decades ago, but that now the added effect of Lyme with numerous coinfections are making cases much more severe. http://www.lymepa.org/c07%20Lyme%20disease%20and%20Babesiosis%20coinfection.pdf
The CDC/NIH/IDSA won’t even consider pleomorphism of borrelia or coinfections involvement. Again, WHY?
Perhaps that question needs to be resolved first before anyone claims the science is settled on treatment.
Trust me – nobody out here in Lyme-land enjoys taking antibiotics. We take them because they improve our lives dramatically or even can make us completely well. Antimicrobial treatment is imperative but only one prong of successful treatment. I understand the need for antibiotic stewardship but people are dying from Lyme/MSIDS.For more:https://madisonarealymesupportgroup.com/2016/02/13/lyme-disease-treatment/
This plague is far, far worse than they are admitting. Don’t kid yourself. This is about money & power. Insurance companies don’t want to pay so authorities have constructed a paradigm making that possible.
Bacterial Agent of Lyme Disease Detected in a Genital Lesion
International Team of Scientists Led by Union Square Medical Associates Finds Further Evidence for Sexual Transmission of the Tickborne Disease.
San Francisco, CA, USA – WEBWIRE – Monday, May 6, 2019
“We have taken Lyme disease out of the woods and into the bedroom”
A report describing detection of the bacterial agent of Lyme disease in a genital lesion lends support to possible sexual transmission of the disease. The report was published in the prestigious Journal of Investigative Medicine High Impact Case Reports (https://journals.sagepub.com/articles/hic), and it supports a pilot study previously published in the online journal F1000Research(https://f1000research.com/articles/3-309/v3).
Lyme disease is a tickborne infection caused by Borrelia burgdorferi, a type of corkscrew-shaped bacteria known as a spirochete (pronounced spiro’keet). The Lyme spirochete resembles the agent of syphilis, long recognized as the poster child for sexually transmitted diseases. Recently the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) announced that Lyme disease is much more common than previously thought, with over 400,000 new cases diagnosed each year in the United States. That makes Lyme disease in this country about twice as common as annual new cases of breast cancer and four times more common than annual new cases of HIV/AIDS, hepatitis C virus (HCV) infection and syphilis combined.
The current study was a collaborative effort by an international team of scientists. Researchers included Marianne Middelveen, a veterinary microbiologist from Calgary, Canada, molecular biologist Jennie Burke from Sydney, Australia, and nurse practitioner Melissa Fesler and internist Raphael Stricker from Union Square Medical Associates in San Francisco, CA.
“Our findings demonstrate the complexity of Lyme disease,” said Fesler, a lead author of the published study. “It explains why the disease is more common than one would think if only ticks were involved in transmission.”
In the study, researchers examined a genital lesion in a patient on treatment for Lyme disease. The lesion was found to contain live spirochetes that could be grown in special culture broth, and sophisticated immunology and molecular techniques revealed that the spirochetes were indeed Borrelia burgdorferi, the agent of Lyme disease. Testing for syphilis spirochetes and other pathogens was negative.
“The presence of live spirochetes in a genital lesion strongly suggests that sexual transmission of Lyme disease occurs,” said Middelveen. “We need to do more research to determine the risk of sexual transmission of this syphilis-like organism.”
Dr. Stricker pointed to the implications for Lyme disease diagnosis and treatment raised by the study. “We have taken Lyme disease out of the woods and into the bedroom,” he said. “We need to find better drugs to treat this runaway epidemic just like we did for HIV/AIDS and HCV.”
A North Carolina State University researcher has discovered that bacteria transmitted by fleas–and potentially ticks–can be passed to human babies by the mother, causing chronic infections and raising the possibility of bacterially induced birth defects.
Dr. Ed Breitschwerdt, professor of internal medicine in the Department of Clinical Sciences, is among the world’s leading experts on Bartonella, a bacteria that is maintained in nature by fleas, ticks and other biting insects, but which can be transmitted by infected cats and dogs as well. The most commonly known Bartonella-related illness is cat scratch disease, caused by B. henselae, a strain of Bartonella that can be carried in a cat’s blood for months to years. Cat scratch disease was thought to be a self-limiting, or “one-time” infection; however, Breitschwerdt’s previous work discovered cases of children and adults with chronic, blood-borne Bartonella infections–from strains of the bacteria that are most often transmitted to cats (B. henselae) and dogs (B. vinsonii subsp. berkhoffii) by fleas and other insects.
In his most recent case study, Breitschwerdt’s research group tested blood and tissue samples taken over a period of years from a mother, father and son who had suffered chronic illnesses for over a decade.Autopsy samples from their daughter–the son’s twin who died shortly after birth–contained DNA evidence of B. henselae and B. vinsonii subsp. berkhoffi infection, which was also found in the other members of the family.
Both parents had suffered recurring neurological symptoms including headaches and memory loss, as well as shortness of breath, muscle weakness and fatigue before the children were born. In addition, their 10-year-old son was chronically ill from birth and their daughter died due to a heart defect at nine days of age.
Results of the parents’ medical histories and the microbiological tests indicated that the parents had been exposed to Bartonella prior to the birth of the twins, and finding the same bacteria in both children, one shortly after birth and the other 10 years later, indicates that they may have become infected while in utero.
Breitschwerdt’s research appears online in the April 14 Journal of Clinical Microbiology.
“This is yet more evidence that Bartonella bacteria cause chronic intravascular infections in people with otherwise normal immune systems, infections that can span a decade or more,” Breitschwerdt says. “Also this new evidence supports the potential of trans-placental infection and raises the possibility that maternal infection with these bacteria might also cause birth defects.”
The Department of Clinical Sciences is part of NC State’s College of Veterinary Medicine. Dr. Breitschwerdt is also an adjunct professor of medicine at Duke University Medical Center.
Note to editors: An abstract of the paper follows.
“Molecular evidence of perinatal transmission of Bartonella vinsonii subsp. berkhoffii and B.henselae to a child” Authors: Edward B. Breitschwerdt, Ricardo G. Maggi and Patricia E. Mascarelli, NC State University; Peter Farmer, Department of Pathology, North Shore University Hospital Published: April 14, 2010 in Journal of Clinical Microbiology
Abstract: Bartonella vinsonii subsp. berkhoffii, Bartonella henselae or DNA of both organisms was
amplified and sequenced from blood, enrichment blood cultures or autopsy tissues from four family members. Historical and microbiological results support perinatal transmission of Bartonella species in this family.
What’s is going to take? How many more have to become infected before transmission studies on ALL implicated pathogens in Lyme/MSIDS are done?
We’ve known about Lyme for over 40 years and we still don’t have good studies looking at this very real issue of sexual and congenital transmission. Only one study on sexual transmission done in 2014 showed the Lyme organism in semen and vaginal secretions, but the medical world sniffed and rolled over in bed. Nothing’s been done since.
http://www.endowmentmed.org/pdf/endowmentupdatelymes2.pdf In 1995 Dr. Mattman obtained positive cultures for Bb from 43 of 47 chronically ill people. She also recovered Bb spirochetes from 8 out of 8 Parkinson patients, 41 cases of multiple scierosis (MS), 21 cases of amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS), and ALL tested cases of Alzheimer’s.