Podcast: Lyme disease and Long-COVID in a 16-year-old girl


Hello and welcome to another Inside Lyme Podcast with your host Dr. Daniel Cameron. In this podcast, Dr. Cameron discusses the case of a 16-year-old adolescent with Lyme disease, who developed Long-COVID.

Dr. Cameron recently published this case, taken from a Lyme disease and COVID survey, in a study entitled “Consequences of Contracting COVID-19 or Taking the COVID-19 Vaccine for Individuals with a History of Lyme Disease.”¹


The case involved a 16-year-old girl with a history of a tick bite, erythema migrans rash, Bell’s palsy and a swollen knee. Lyme disease tests were positive with 5 of 10 IgG Western blot bands. She had been ill for 5 years. She had also been diagnosed with chronic fatigue and Post -Treatment Lyme disease Syndrome (PTLDS).

The young woman had been treated for 3 years with oral and IV antibiotics, as well as supplements. She reported being chronically ill from Lyme disease but was not being treated with antibiotics at the time of the Survey.

Her COVID-19 was confirmed by nasal swab. She was not hospitalized but had fever, fatigue, and headache and some limitations on activities due to her illness. She was ill more for than a month.

The woman felt that her history of having a tick-borne illness made her acute COVID-19 illness worse. She developed long-COVID.

Her GSQ-30 score was 68 out of 120, indicating a high symptom burden. Her worst symptoms were feeling fatigued or having low energy, feeling worse after normal physical activity, needing more sleep than usual, not feeling rested on wakening, discomfort with normal light or sound, changes in visual clarity or trouble focusing, hot or cold sensations in extremities, irregular or rapid heartbeats, feeling irritable, sad, feeling panicky, anxious, or worried, trouble finding or retrieving words, trouble with memory, and slower speed of thinking.


Questions addressed in this podcast:

  1. Can you discuss the Lyme disease and COVID survey?
  2. What is the burden of illness scale?
  3. What was the burden of illness for individuals with a history of Lyme disease without contracting COVID?
  4. What was the burden of illness for individuals with a history of Lyme disease who contracted COVID?
  5. According to the survey, how many individuals with a history of Lyme disease developed long-COVID?
  6. What are the benefits of Institutional Review Board (IRB) approval?
  7. Was 16-year-old girl’s Lyme disease history typical?
  8. Was this 16-year-old girl’s COVID case typical?
  9. What are your concerns with this case?
  10. What are your concerns for others with long-COVID who have a history of Lyme disease?
  11. Could Lyme disease and long-COVID be confused?
  12. What would you advise a patient?

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.

Inside Lyme Podcast Series

This Inside Lyme case series will be discussed on my Facebook page and made available on podcast and YouTube.  As always, it is your likes, comments, and shares that help spread the word about this series and our work. If you can, please leave a review on iTunes or wherever else you get your podcasts.

  1. Cameron DJ, McWhinney SR. Consequences of Contracting COVID-19 or Taking the COVID-19 Vaccine for Individuals with a History of Lyme Disease. Antibiotics (Basel). Mar 1 2023;12(3)doi:10.3390/antibiotics12030493

1 Reply to "Podcast: Lyme disease and Long-COVID in a 16-year-old girl"

  • Marie Kaplan
    04/18/2023 (6:14 pm)

    I am 67. Was wrongly diagnosed with CFIDS in 1998. Disabled since ’98. Correct Lyme diagnosis in 2010, 4 yrs to get rid of bacteria. Not fully recovered. Long Covid since July 2021. Lyme symptoms are returning. Will retest for Lyme. Cognitive impairments life-altering. I don’t feel I will gain back the acuity I had before Lyme. Can sing, paint & write again, but must pace myself. Concentration, insomnia huge problems. Neck pain bad, other neuro probs. LLMD said Lyme went up spinal cord and attacked my brain. Had grand mal seizures in grade school. He said that Lyme started then. Lived in South Dakota.

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