Lyme disease in children rising in Pennsylvania: an inside look

The number of children with Lyme disease has continued to climb steadily since the first cases were reported in 1977 in Connecticut. Since then, an ever increasing number of states have been added to the Lyme-endemic list, including Pennsylvania. In fact, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) puts Pennsylvania and New Jersey at the top of the list for having the most reported cases of Lyme disease in the country.

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Impact of Lyme disease on working and caregiving

A newly published study, which examines the causes of delayed diagnosis or treatment of Lyme disease, also demonstrates the impact the disease can have on a patient’s ability to work and/or serve as caregivers for family members.

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What blood type do ticks prefer?

Ever wonder why some people are more likely to be bitten by a tick than others? Researchers in the Czech Republic claim it may have to do with a person’s blood type. “The influence of blood groups on certain diseases such as malaria or some cancers has been already discussed and proved,” the authors point out. Type O blood has been linked to the slow progression of malaria, transmitted by mosquitoes. “This may suggest that there could be a similar relationship between tick-borne diseases and some blood group(s).”

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5 things to know about Lyme carditis

Although most people associate Lyme disease with fatigue, joint and muscle pain, fevers and other flu-like symptoms, the illness can also cause serious, debilitating and sometimes, life-threatening symptoms that impact the brain, the lungs and even the heart. The authors of a recent case series, describe "5 things to know about Lyme carditis" to help prevent unnecessary implantation of pacemakers.

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Steroids harmful to patients with Bell’s palsy caused by Lyme disease

Bell's Palsy due to Lyme disease
Studies have shown that a short-course of corticosteroids can be helpful in treating patients with idiopathic facial nerve palsy, also referred to as Bell’s palsy. But that is not necessarily the case when the facial palsy is caused by Lyme disease (LDFP). Now, a new case series explores the long-term consequences of corticosteroid use in patients with Lyme-induced facial palsy.

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Turning a blind eye on Lyme disease

Medicine has made great strides in understanding diseases with lesions, such as cancer, heart disease, and strokes. But it has had a more difficult time understanding the many other syndromes, which lack any markers for organ lesions. Yet, these non-lesion diseases, like chronic fatigue syndrome or Lyme disease, are more prone to being misdiagnosed and leaving patients with debilitating symptoms.

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Will eliminating deer help stop the spread of infected ticks?

Adult blacklegged ticks (Ixodes scapularis) which can transmit the Lyme disease bacteria Borrelia burgdorferi, along with a multitude of other pathogens, prefer to feed on white-tailed deer. The white-footed mouse is the primary reservoir host. As more and more tick-borne diseases emerge, the urgency for finding effective tick management strategies is greater than ever before. Blacklegged ticks are now known to transmit other infectious agents which cause Anaplasmosis, Babesia, Borrelia miyamotoi, and Powassan virus.

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Unexplained stroke: Look for Lyme disease

On rare occasions, Lyme neuroborreliosis (LNB) can cause a stroke. The authors of “Ischemic stroke: Do Not Forget Lyme Neuroborreliosis,” review the case of an 83-year-old man who was admitted to the emergency room of Geneva University Hospitals in Switzerland. [1] The case highlights the importance of gathering a complete patient history and in performing adequate ancillary tests.

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Preventing unnecessary surgery for children with Lyme arthritis

It can be difficult to tell the difference between Lyme arthritis and bacterial septic arthritis in children. But making the distinction is critical since treatment differs for each. The knee is the most common joint impacted for the majority (90%) of patients with Lyme arthritis, explains Willis and colleagues in the Journal of Pediatric Orthopedists. [1] Elbow pain is rarely reported as an initial symptom, and therefore, Lyme disease is usually not considered when children complain of isolated elbow pain.

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Babesia case in the South Bronx

Last week, New York City (NYC) officials issued a health advisory, calling on physicians in the city to be on the alert for patients with tick-borne diseases, as the number of cases continues to rise. Since 2000, the number of tick-borne disease cases in NYC has steadily increased, with fluctuations from year to year. But between 2016 and 2017, cases of anaplasmosis and babesiosis more than doubled in all boroughs except Queens. And last year, the first case of anaplasmosis transmitted through a blood transfusion was reported in NYC.

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