May 11th, 2015

NMTC Science Café: People, Ticks, and Lyme Disease

Deer tickI was chatting with a patron recently about an investigative report on how little is spent on Lyme disease prevention and research.

This is an important topic to me as I have been treated for Lyme disease after finding the bull’s eye bite plus the flu-like symptoms and severe headache. When I started to search for facts about Lyme disease, I found some eye opening information.

Ron Hamlen, PhD., Vice-chair, Lyme Disease Association of Southeastern PA, Inc., sent me some information compiled by Dr. Daniel Cameron, a researcher and expert on tick-borne diseases.

Here a few quick facts about the seriousness of Lyme disease:

 

– Ticks have been around for 15,000,000 years and the first case was described 5300 years ago.

– CDC reports 300,000 new cases/year, that’s 822 cases/week

– It is the fastest growing disease over HIV, Breast Cancer, Hepatitis and Colon Cancer

– Research funding is only $21 million compared to Hepatitis ($200 million), Colon Cancer ($288 million), Breast Cancer ($674 million) and HIV (3005 Million)

– The Elisa test used is only 35-50% accurate, the disease is usually misdiagnosed because it exhibits symptoms similar to other diseases. Fewer than 50% people remember being bitten by a tick or even noticing a rash.

– 40% of Lyme patients end up with long-term health problems. If left untreated, 60% patients have arthritis with severe joint pain and swelling

– Some Lyme disease patients are as disabled as people with Congestive Heart Failure and have as much pain as post-operative patients

If you want to learn about Lyme disease, come to our NMTC Science Café: People, Ticks and Lyme Disease with Ron Hamlen, PhD, Lyme Disease Assoc. of Southeastern PA. We will have an informal discussion led by Dr. Hamlen, May 19, 7:00 pm at the Elkton Central Library.
If you can’t come to the program but are still interested in this topic, go to NIH, MDHM or CDC (as per links below)

Did you know dogs can contract Lyme disease, too?


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March 26th, 2013

Man’s Best Friend

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On Tuesday, March 26 @ 7 pm, Lynne Gartenhaus from C4H, Companions for Heroes, will give a presentation on how soldiers and first responders can heal through the unconditional love of dogs and other pets.  C4H was founded by a soldier, Dave Sharpe, deployed in 2001 with the U.S. Air Force Security Forces. After a life threatening confrontation with a Taliban sympathizer plus additional incidents, his ordeal with PTSD began. His violence, anxiety and other symptoms went undiagnosed for eight years. When he was introduced to a rescued pit bull puppy, his healing began. Time Magazine featured a story about C4H.

C4H’s purpose is not only to help soldiers, but police officers, firefighters, and other first responders recover from the effects of PTSD and similar disorders.  Sharpe’s hope is that C4H will aid them in their recovery while at the same time saving our nation’s shelter and rescued animals. Join us at the Elkton Central Library to hear more and to meet a service dog in training.


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