The tick-borne illness Babesia duncani (B. duncani) was initially identified in the western regions of the United States. The disease has always been presumed to be confined to the West Coast, while its counterpart – Babesia microti (B. microti) has been well-established on the East Coast.
As the number of tick-borne disease cases continues to grow, preventing tick bites is becoming increasingly important. In addition to performing personal protective behaviors to minimize tick exposure, individuals are modifying their yards and utilizing pesticide treatments to control tick populations. But new research indicates that tick bite prevention behaviors vary between socio-economic levels.
The number of Babesia cases in the United States continues to grow at an alarming rate. This is concerning for several reasons: symptoms can be non-specific; patients may be infected but asymptomatic; Babesia can be transmitted unknowingly through blood transfusions, and it can be fatal. Recently, physicians at Mayo Clinic reviewed the clinical presentations and treatment approaches for 38 Babesia patients living in the Upper Midwest.¹
It is well-recognized that Lyme disease can cause neurologic symptoms, such as peripheral neuropathy when the infection goes untreated. Patients can experience muscle weakness and/or twitching, loss of sensation in parts of the body, numbness, tingling sensations, problems with balance and bladder control, and a feeling of dizziness or faintness. But now, new research indicates that femoral neuropathy may also be due to Lyme disease.
Traumatic brain injury and Lyme disease are known to cause chronic illness with serious neurologic and cognitive impairments for some individuals. The clinical presentation is similar for both conditions. And while the majority of patients may recover from a concussion, others who continue to have persistent symptoms may be diagnosed with post-concussion syndrome (PCS).
It is often suggested that military service members are at an increased risk for contracting Lyme disease, given that they frequently work outdoors in tick-habitats, surrounded by tall grass, brush, weeds and leaf litter. But what about their family members? Are they “safer”?
A new study examines the risk of tick-borne diseases (TBDs) in Canada in response to global warming and other environmental changes. Researchers already recognize that tick populations are spreading into new regions. Now, with temperatures rising the season for tick activity is lengthening, putting people at a greater risk.
Does an individual with a compromised immune system have a greater chance of developing disseminated Lyme disease? Studies are limited in this area. But the authors of “Erythema Migrans: Course and Outcome in Patients Treated With Rituximab” have published a limited case review, examining patients diagnosed with Lyme borreliosis (LB), who were also receiving Rituximab, a medication known to impair immunity.
In their article “Lyme Arthritis in a Military Dependent Child transferred from Japan,” Soloria and colleagues discuss the case of a 17-year-old male who relocated with his family from a U.S. military base in Japan to Virginia. 
After reading an article entitled “Assessment of Patient Nondisclosures to Clinicians of Experiencing Imminent Threats,” by Levy and colleagues, I began to wonder why some patients might not disclose they have Lyme disease to their primary care physician.