Valley View: Lyme is most misunderstood disease since AIDS

Excerpted from PoughkeepsieJournal.COM: (11/09/2014)

With the possible exception of HIV/AIDS, no infectious disease in recent history has been as misunderstood, maligned or politicized as Lyme disease.

After more than two decades of controversy and government neglect, Lyme disease has become too large an issue to ignore any longer. A year ago, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reported that only 1 in 10 cases of Lyme disease were properly reported to public health agencies and increased the likely incidence to more than 300,000 new cases of Lyme disease in the U.S. per year. As a highly endemic state, a significant proportion of those cases are in New York.

For perspective, cases of HIV/AIDS number more than 50,000 annually, meaning that for every person diagnosed with HIV/AIDS, there are 6 people with Lyme disease. Ironically, the early years of AIDS were fraught with similar controversy that resulted in the epidemic spiraling out of control, while scientists fought over every aspect of the disease, from admitting that AIDS was actually an infectious disease, to who would get the naming rights for HIV.

There are thousands of people in New York suffering from Lyme disease, a bacterial infection that a few weeks of antibiotics may not cure. As with HIV/AIDS, both the existence of disabling symptoms and the possible cause are under dispute.

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~ by Rob on November 16, 2014.

2 Responses to “Valley View: Lyme is most misunderstood disease since AIDS”

  1. Very much truth, and sadly the Western United States did a lot of foot dragging because this “broke” in the East in the 70s, it took time to play catch up here, at first we were led to believe the ticks that infect only dwell in the East! California is truly a tick haven, always has been. Oregon, Washington too, some geological areas I believe, are worse than others. I’ve no doubt there are untold cases that go under diagnosed, and miss diagnosed , leading to statistics way out of kilter, misrepresented.

  2. Hi Lyme Handbook. I love to stop by and visit your blog for information 🙂 I was wondering if you might help me spread the word on my new book by sharing it with your blog followers in a new blog post or by simply reposting this, as we are both in the arena of “raising lyme awareness”! I wrote the book to help address some of the many misunderstandings of this disease (such as we are NOT crazy and we are NOT alone! :)) The book can be found at: and here is a quick excerpt from “Chapter 7: The Perfect Storm” that you can share:

    “What the hell happened last week?…

    First, work stress had been building until it hit me like a forty-foot rogue wave. Second, my son’s second exposure to Lyme made me nauseous with “see” sickness after spotting a bull’s-eye rash on his arm. And third, posttraumatic stress from the incident described earlier in “Mickey Mouse to Borrelia: ‘OMG!’” had been flooding my thoughts. It was the perfect storm. The convergence of these three fronts over my Lyme-weakened nervous system created rippling effects throughout my body—twitching, buzzing, weakness, lightheadedness. And a state of panic that was quickly getting out of control.

    It was not the Andrea Gail sailing into a stormy sea. It was I, the Lyme Whisperer, trying to stay afloat amidst choppy waters. I was desperately trying not to give in to the feelings of collapsing or passing out. I was trying not to capsize. You pathetic, disgruntled, and opportunistic little deckhand, Borrelia. I can’t believe you would wait for me to be weakened by stress to crash over me like this. Wait, yes, I can. That’s what you do…”

    And please don’t feel obligated or pressured to do so or to even approve or keep this comment. I couldn’t find any other place to message you more privately.

    All the best.
    Lyme Whisperer

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