Dr. Daniel Cameron: Inside Lyme Podcast

COVID-Lyme disease survey: First findings, a discussion with Dr. Horowitz

Person with Lyme disease receiving COVID vaccine

Welcome to another Inside Lyme Podcast with your host Dr. Daniel Cameron. In this episode, Dr. Cameron teams up with Dr. Richard Horowitz to discuss findings from a survey entitled, Burden of COVID-19 and the COVID-19 vaccine for individuals with Lyme disease.

Nearly 800 people (n=782) participated in the survey. 84% of those were women. Participants ranged between ages 13 and 81. Approximately 48% noticed a tick bite, while 63.5% reported having a rash.

The survey found:

“Participants who have had COVID have a significantly worse burden of illness then participants who have not had COVID in neuropsychiatric, neurological and viral-like symptoms.”

55% had already taken the COVID-19 vaccine; 17% refused the vaccine; 16% were resistant and 11% expressed a willingness to take the vaccine.

Surprisingly, individuals who did not take the vaccine, reported greater pain/fatigue, more neuropsychiatric and neurologic symptoms.

Individuals with Lyme disease may have a flare-up from the vaccine but based on the survey and symptom scale assessing the overall burden of illness, the vaccinated individuals had less of an increase in symptoms.

“Respondents who have had the COVID-19 vaccine had a significantly better burden of illness (specifically relating to neuropsychiatric and neurologic symptoms) than respondents who had not taken the COVID-19 vaccine.”

CLICK HERE TO WATCH A VIDEO DISCUSSION ON COVID-LYME DISEASE SURVEY

Dr. Horowitz reported that at least 50% of his patients had flare-up’s in Lyme disease symptoms following the vaccine but for the vast majority, those symptoms resolved.

“Interestingly, some patients actually told me they felt better weeks to months after the vaccine.” The response to the vaccine has been “all over the spectrum” for patients in my practice, Horowitz explains.

“I’ve had only 2 or 3 patients in the practice who have had long-term symptoms from the vaccine, where their overstimulated immune system kept going.”

“Respondents with Lyme disease who had the vaccine have the lowest burden of illness.”

“The worst burden of illness occurred in people with Lyme disease who had COVID-19, despite whether they had the vaccine or not.”

Participants reported the severity of their COVID infection. Nearly 20% reported their illness as “severe,” followed by 48.6% as “moderate” and 28.6% as “mild.”

Out of 185 participants, nearly 20% reported shortness of breath; 17% with loss of smell and 14% with loss of taste.

If a participant experienced side effects, how long did those last? The majority reported side effects from the vaccine occurring for less than 48 hours.

NOTE: In the second portion of today’s podcast, Dr. Horowitz provides a presentation on COVID-19, the Omicron variant and treatment options for Lyme disease patients. 

CLICK HERE: It’s not too late to participate in the survey!  

Thanks for listening to another Inside Lyme Podcast. Please remember that the advice given is general and not intended as specific advice to any particular patient. If you require specific advice, please seek that advice from an experienced professional.

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6 Replies to "COVID-Lyme disease survey: First findings, a discussion with Dr. Horowitz"

  • Amy Q
    01/10/2022 (10:01 pm)
    Reply

    Hi . I am new to this forum. My 16 year old son had Covid in late July 2021 ( likely delta) and on day 12 had severe hives that needed a trip to the ER. They resolved after a few days and he recovered however he contracted Lyme disease later in the summer/ early fall. The acute case of lyme has caused sudden onset of hypothyroidism and Hashimotos disease, weight loss of 15 lbs and extreme fatigue. His immune system had likely not recovered from Covid when he got the lyme. He just finished a month of doxycycline and we are retesting his blood this month and next month to see if the thyroid resets. Anyone with any insight would be appreciated

    • Dr. Daniel Cameron
      01/11/2022 (8:31 am)
      Reply

      I have not found blood tests useful as a measure of success. I sometimes order a test a month after starting treatment to check if another tick borne illness is present or to rule out other illnesses. I have to use clinical judgment to determine treatment even without COVID-19

  • Greg
    12/27/2021 (8:32 am)
    Reply

    In my family we have a number of us with chronic Lyme, either from years of misdiagnosis for my wife and me, or congenital for our children. Three of us got the. Moderna vaccine and two got pfizer.

    My reaction to the vaccine was that it only.made me tired for a few days after the first injection. Nothing after the second. My wife was completely knocked down with headaches and muscle pain combined with an overall flu-like feeling for about 3 days to a week for both injections. Our 22 year old daughter had a similar reaction.

    Oh Pfizer daughter had a similar, but more intense reaction to both shots, but her 13 year old daughter who is in the next generation of congenital Lyme had no reaction.

    All in all, we are not seeing any residual affects of the shots on our Lyme. I still have many of my old symptoms..

  • Susan Scheibel
    12/19/2021 (10:38 am)
    Reply

    Interested on up dates having stage 3 Lyme disease

  • Dianne
    12/17/2021 (4:57 pm)
    Reply

    Resoundant no to vaccine. propylene glycol,,,,,,,,,polusorbate,,,,,,,graphine oxide/hydroxite. All allergic to all of them. Long term studies for example 10 months out would be more accurate.


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