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Reader Opinion Lyme disease awareness

The Pequot High School Library display "May is Lyme Disease Awareness Month" features the Documentary "Under Our Skin." It exposes a complex story of politics and conflict of interest among researchers, insurance and pharmaceutical companies. It ...

The Pequot High School Library display "May is Lyme Disease Awareness Month"

features the Documentary "Under Our Skin." It exposes a complex story of politics and conflict of interest among researchers, insurance and pharmaceutical companies. It is loaded with information for patients and professionals alike.

Ticks know no borders and respect no boundaries. The patient's county or residence does not accurately reflect his or her Lyme disease risk because people travel, pets travel and ticks travel.

Lyme disease is a systemic infection that can affect almost any part of the body.

While a bullseye rash is a definite indicator of the disease, many patients don't develop a rash at the site of the tick bite or recall being bitten.

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Misdiagnosis is common because the disease has symptoms similar to fibromyalgia, multiple sclerosis, Parkinson's, ALS and Alzheimer's.

Co-infections exist along with Lyme disease. Babesiosis is a parasitic malaria-like illness caused by a protozoan that lives in red blood cells. As with Lyme, ticks transmit babesiosis. Treatment with antimicrobial drugs is recommended.

Anaplasmosis co-infection with Lyme can result in more severe symptoms, such as

seizures, ataxia, and confusion. Treatment with doxycycline is recommended.

Insect Repellents are available. An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure.

Robert O. Uppgaard, DDS (retired)

Pequot Lakes

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