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Exploding tick population – and diseases they bring – worries government

At least 20 known medical conditions may result from tick bites; The most common, Lyme disease, affects an estimated 300,000…

At least 20 known medical conditions may result from tick bites; The most common, Lyme disease, affects an estimated 300,000 Americans each year. Meanwhile, doctors and researchers continue to discover new diseases linked to the crawling bugs.

The committee, known as the Tick-borne Disease Working Group, was established under the 21st Century Cures Act (2016) and is tasked with proposing how to rein in this public health problem.

“As tick populations continue to grow and infected ticks expand geographically, the threat to human health intensifies,” the working group wrote.

Sims, a Vietnam veteran who in 1977 was recognized by the US Air Force as the “top enlisted management analyst of the year , “had his life derailed several years later by tick bites.

 Ruben Lee Sims is a Lyme disease advocate.

Unable to diagnose Lyme disease, the military discharged Sims in 1984, labeling him a hypochondriac whose pain was caused by psychological factors. A jaar later, een niet-militaire arts ook faalde om een ​​diagnose te leveren. Though the doctor suspected Lyme disease, Sims had never traveled to New England, where the disease was prevalent, so the tick-borne disease was crossed off the list of possibilities.

“I was misdiagnosed for over three decades and left untreated for Lyme disease,” Sims told the report’s authors. Today, that’s no longer true. Better equipped to diagnose tick-borne disease, the VA has confirmed Sims’ pain as a symptom of Lyme disease, and with appropriate treatment, he has no longer symptoms.

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“Untreated patients can lose everything, as I did, and become part of the unemployed, under-employed, disabled, and homeless populations, “Sims said in the report. These days, he shares his story to help others who may be affected by tick-borne illnesses.

Most Lyme patients who are treated early can fully recover, yet up to 20% experience persistent symptoms – some disabling. Immediate symptoms include fever, chills, headache, fatigue, muscle and joint aches, swollen lymph nodes and a distinctive ring rash. Episodes of dizziness or shortness of breath, inflammation of the brain and spinal cord, and shooting pains in the hands or feet are among the longer-term symptoms in patients with chronic illness.

The spread of Lyme disease

Lyme disease cases have doubled since 2004, according to the report. Meanwhile, its geographic prevalence has grown: The number of counties considered to have high incidence of the disease has increased by more than 300% in the northeastern states and by nearly 250% in North Central states, the report states.

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“The geographic range of Lyme disease cases has expanded since its first appearance in Lyme, Connecticut, in 1975 and has consistently spread northward, southward , and westward, “the report says. Den arbejdsgruppe foreslår at denne spredning kan skyldes, at i hvert fald i del, “to økologiske forandringer, der har fundet sted i Nordamerika siden midten af ​​20-tallet, herunder habitat og klimaændringer.”

Though less common on the west coast, Lyme disease is an important concern there, as are other diseases that result from tick bites, the report states. Ondanks honderden duizenden van geschatte gevallen, werden slechts ongeveer 35.000 er gerapporteerd elke jaar naar de Amerikaanse Centra voor Disease Control and Prevention.

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Lyme disease has been transmitted by infected deer ticks. Infected blacklegged ticks, Western blacklegged ticks and lone star ticks also frequently transmit disease in the United States.

Tick-borne diseases can be difficult to diagnose. Tests zijn niet altijd accuraat, en zorgverleners mogen niet weten hoe te gebruiken. Additionally, patients may have not only one but two or more tick-borne illnesses at the same time.

The Tick-Borne Disease Working Group’s recommendations include improving early and accurate diagnosis and treatment, strengthening national surveillance and developing new treatment options for treating acute and persistent illness.

“For decades, tick-borne diseases have increased at an alarming rate, “the committee concluded. “The continued spread of ticks, the discovery of new tick-borne pathogens, and the spreading outbreak of human disease is a near certainty.”

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