Dr. Daniel Cameron: Inside Lyme Podcast
COVID-Lyme disease survey: First findings, a discussion with Dr. Horowitz
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.
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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