The Global Search for Education: The Netherlands and Ticks

Excerpted from the Huffington Post: (04/21/2013)

Lyme (Borreliosis), Anaplasmosis /Ehrlichiosis, Babesiosis, Rocky Mountain Spotted Fever, Bartonella, Tularemia, and more recently, Borrelia miyamotoi (a distant relative of Lyme Borreliosis) are recognized tick-borne infectious diseases in the United States of which The Center for Disease Control (CDC) claims Lyme disease is the most common and fastest growing illness. With spring finally here, have you taken the right steps to ensure that your children and family can enjoy the outdoors without the fear of contracting a potentially severely incapacitating tick-borne illness?

The challenges faced by those trying to combat the silent epidemic of Lyme and other tick-borne diseases are overwhelming. They include better reporting of incidence (24,000 confirmed Lyme cases reported in the U.S. in 2011 but the CDC believe this represents only 10-12 percent of all cases), better education and prevention strategies, more funding for research to develop reliable diagnostic tools (there is currently no diagnostic tool that is even 60 percent reliable), and better treatments. In contrast to the U.S., as you will discover in today’s Q&A, the Netherlands had as of 2006 approximately 17,000 reported cases a year in a population that is 6 percent the size of the U.S., shedding further doubt on the reported US incidence figures.

Tick tock, tick tock — the clock is ticking and each day it seems another expert agrees that global warming is only accelerating the tick problem. Unfortunately, like all of us, those little buggers enjoy international travel.  How is the rest of the world combatting these unwelcomed tourists?  Over the next few months, I will be sharing the global perspectives of leading experts involved with tick-borne illnesses. Perhaps we will see commonalities and explore new ideas, and so discover ways we can make progress on this growing global public health danger.

This week I am pleased to welcome Dr. Leo Joosten from the Department of Medicine at the Radboud University in the Netherlands. Joosten has been involved in Lyme disease research for several years.

For the complete interview:


~ by Rob on April 21, 2013.

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