Tick-Borne Illnesses Making Headlines
The UK government admitted this month that a potentially deadly virus spread by ticks is now present in Britain.
In the first confirmed domestically-acquired case of tick-borne encephalitis virus (TBEV), a 50-year-old man was said to have been bitten by infected ticks while mountain biking in Yorkshire. Another probable case has been detected in Scotland.
Symptoms of TBEV range from a mild flu-like illness to severe infection in the central nervous system such as meningitis or encephalitis, a potentially life-threatening condition in which the brain swells.
Investigations are now underway to ascertain why the virus has been found more frequently in ticks in recent years, but as many followers of Neomed will know, other tick-borne diseases are also on the rise, and woefully under-reported, leading to a fair amount of misinformation in the media.
In many of the reports concerning the discovery of TBEV, Lyme disease was another tick-borne illness most commonly mentioned, along with the reassuring news that it is “a bacterial infection that can be treated with antibiotics.” While this is undoubtedly true, it’s also not quite as simple as that, as many Lyme disease sufferers know all too well.
Sometimes, one dose of antibiotics can be given pre-emptively following a tick bite, but there is roughly a two-day window in which preventive antibiotics work, and Lyme disease symptoms can show themselves anywhere between three and 30 days after transmission of infection.
For those who get a diagnosis of Lyme disease in its early stages, a 10 to 14-day course of oral antibiotics is usually prescribed, which may help the majority of people. However, approximately 10% to 20% of people infected with Lyme disease can expect to develop what is being called in the States “post-treatment Lyme disease syndrome”.
In other cases, many people don’t receive any treatment at all because Lyme disease symptoms are all too often mistaken for something else entirely, and by the time Lyme disease is suspected, it has become a chronic infection.
Then there are Lyme disease co-infections that occur when sufferers are simultaneously infected with tick-borne diseases that are commonly transmitted by ticks that spread Lyme.
Studies indicate these co-infections might actually be more common than single infections, simply because infected ticks tend to carry several different pathogen species.
The most common Lyme disease co-infections are:
- Bartonella: bacteria that also causes cat scratch fever;
- Babesia: a parasite that causes a disease similar to malaria;
- Borrelia: the bacteria that causes Lyme disease and Tick-borne Relapsing Fever;
- Mycoplasma: an organism devoid of cell walls or a cell nucleus, so they act like parasites within or outside host cells, and take on different shapes. As a result, they are able to hide from the immune system, making them difficult to diagnose and treat.
At Neomed, we have a proud record of helping people suffering from chronic Lyme disease and Lyme disease coinfections. In fact, many of our guests come from all four corners of the world, which shows how difficult it is to get comprehensive help for this extremely problematic illness.
Our approach works because we target the complex underlying causes of Lyme disease to provide a more effective treatment. We also employ a variety of protocols to directly treat bacterial, viral, and other pathogenic overgrowths.