About 20 years ago when I was a massage therapist in NYC, I had a pregnant patient who came back from the Hamptons with a tick bite. Her right ear swelled up and she experienced flu-like symptoms. It was worrisome and she even wondered if this tick bite would affect her developing baby. How is Lyme transmitted?
The transmission of Lyme is a curious subject because it has been theorized that Lyme is transmitted in the womb and sexually-transmitted. I just read about a recent case of a young woman whose doctor believes that she contacted Lyme in the womb from her mom who lived with undiagnosed Lyme for 30 years.
How many cases are there?
Lyme specialists say that they have seen evidence of gestational transmission from mom to baby in pregnancy. We know that another famous spirochete, Syphilis, is transmitted in the womb. That makes sense. The CDC Center for Disease Control "concluded that no specific pattern of teratogenicity, or birth defects, has been shown in Lyme disease". The CDC projects that the number of new infections is probably 10 times higher than reported above the 300,000 new cases per year as evidenced by lab data.
Research has shown that the placenta can become infected with Lyme and cases of miscarriage have been linked to Lyme.
Lyme, discovered 40 years ago in CT., is the leading vector-borne disease in the US. There was a 25% increase in 2013 with over 27,000 new cases. The disease is moving into Canada and south through Virginia. Climate change may be a factor in the spread of Lyme. The EPA added Lyme disease to its list of climate change indicators. Lyme disease ticks have a two-year life independent of temperature. Canadian researchers are finding global warming is speeding up tick life cycles which allows more ticks to reproduce and survive.
What's that other spirochete?
Lyme like Syphilis is the great pretender as it causes illnesses with changeable symptoms in multiple body systems. Lyme does have an affinity for connective tissue and it can attack the heart causing third-degree heart block.
Is there reliable testing and treatment?
There was a huge problem with finding reliable testing. A patient would find a tick or have a bite and initial testing did not reveal anything because the testing only looked for an immune response and not the bacteria. We offer the two most reliable lab tests for Lyme and co-infections. iSpot tests for the bacteria or Lyme antigen and Igenex tests for several tick-borne infections.
We also offer I.V. ozone therapy which is safe and effective in the treatment of Lyme and other pathogens. Long-term antibiotic therapy is effective for about 20 percent, but it comes with a heavy price of side effects and can create new maladies like Neuro Lyme Syndrome with chronic brain inflammation and permanent brain fog.