Carolina Lessons on Lyme Disease
Dr. Leah Devlin
Kalyn Faggart lives in Concord, North Carolina. This suffering 13 year-old was going blind due to Lyme disease. According to a Dr. Devlin, she was denied further Lyme disease antibiotic treatment after her local treating physician was disciplined by his State Medical Board concerning his aggressive Lyme treatment style. Her appeal for further treatment was denied by the board and she was told “surgery is her only option in this state” by a Medical Board Member according to Dr. Devlin. So her mother took her to Georgia and after 12 months of IV treatment, she is now nearly 100% healthy, but the cost was 130K of out-of-pocket costs to the family.
The White Tail deer population in both North Carolina and South Carolina is increasing and is presently at its highest levels. This deer is a host for the black-legged deer tick as well as the Lone Star Tick.
The majority of migrating new residents to the Carolinas are likely from known Lyme Endemic states. These new residents also bring their pets (and any acquired infection to the Carolinas) but may not present serious symptoms until having to see Carolina doctors.
The military has designated both Ft. Bragg and Camp Lejuene as “high risk” areas from previous risk assessments done by the military. Also, the following reference by the Naval Environmental Health Center (June 2007) cites North Carolina as the highest state for numbers and percentage of Naval military members confirmed for Lyme Disease (even higher than Connecticut, a Lyme endemic region) using both active and off- duty military statistics.
There have been 71 cases of confirmed Lyme disease between active and off-duty personnel from 1996 to 2007 at Camp Lejuene.
There have been 379 positive cases of Lyme disease in canines from 2000-2007 in North Carolina. Additionally, there were 558 canine cases of Ehrlichia during the same years. Wake, Onslow and Mecklenburg counties were the highest reporting – the same as with human Lyme disease.
In Dr. Apperson’s coastal region study, and hundreds of patients being treated each year confirms that Lyme and Lyme related disease is real in North Carolina and at higher numbers than the state acknowledges. When was the last time a creditable study was done in this state looking for black- legged ticks, Bb [Lyme] and how much has changed in demographics and population expansion since then?
Lyme disease is a Clinical Diagnosis by the treating physician according to the CDC.
Some health “experts” who do not appear to have read thousands of articles on tick borne or flea borne infections, have a preference for labs that do not focus on the highest quality of testing for these infections. But If the lab is CLIA certified and meets every standard of testing by Federal and multiple state government certified credential testing measures, then all states should allow all the results of every certified lab in order to get a more accurate count of Lyme related Illnesses in the state. I have talked to different Lab directors and it is clear some could care less about optimizing their tick and flea infection testing.
[And most experts are not aware that some infections like atypical Bartonella--see my textbook, Medscape article under the former editor of JAMA’s editorial oversight, and my NIH endorsed infection textbook entries—lower some antibodies].
The CDC reportable case statistics for the state has little relationship to the actual number of residents being treated for Lyme and Lyme like Illnesses. [This makes sense because the criteria used for a “report” is often extreme and rules out clear and certain infections. Reported numbers bounce up or down based on the reporting criteria. The CDC already reports only 1/10 cases are counted. In one study in Georgia only 1/40 family physicians reported positives, and this assumes the tests are perfect at detection].
DR. SCHALLER NEITHER SUPPORTS NOR OPPOSES THIS INFORMATION. HE REFERS YOU TO YOUR LOCAL PHYSICIAN TO EVALUATE THIS MATERIAL.