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Pediatric Lyme Disease
By DPG John Gridley


What is Lyme Disease?
Lyme Disease is caused by bacteria usually transmitted by the deer tick. It is a scary possibility to consider for New York State residents who enjoy spending time outside.
Lyme disease may affect the brain in many ways. The most common is a disturbance in thinking (cognition). The spirochete (Borrelia Burgdorferi), which causes Lyme disease can invade the central nervous system within days to a week of initial skin infection, as a result it disseminates through the blood stream. The majority of people who are treated early with antibiotics do well and incur no long term problems. The people who are not treated until later in the illness may have a more complicated course. That is why I have been telling you for the past 17 years, if you think that you have got bitten by a tick go to your doctor immediately and demand a blood test and do not wait for the blood test results. Start an antibiotic treatment at once.
Did you know? Lyme disease is 1.5 times more common than breast cancer and 6 times more common than HIV and is the fastest growing infectious disease. Did you know, the CDC acknowledges at least 300,000 new infections per year. Did you know, the tell-tale "bull's-eye rash" after a bite occurs in less than half of all Lyme infections. Did you know, current testing often provides a false negative result. Did you know, most insurance companies do not cover treatment for Lyme disease.
Do you know the symptoms? Severe fatigue and exhaustion, joint pain, swelling and stiffness, neurological impairment, inability to concentrate, memory loss, vision changes, difficulty with speech or writing, ear pain, buzzing or ringing, seizures, light-headedness, poor balance, difficulty walking and Bell's Palsy, cardiac issues, irregular heartbeat, murmurs, and heart block.
How can you help? Please help us to help young Lyme disease patients receive the care and treatment they need and deserve. Become a distinguished member of the Kiwanis Pediatric Lyme Disease Foundation donors and take part in this important charitable work by purchasing a Brittany Fellowship, Level One Emerald, Level Two Emerald, or a Joseph Michael Wuest Award.
Thank you for taking the time to care and share.

Column Posted on Web Site October 31, 2017

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