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Lyme Disease

Doctor Referral

[vc_row][vc_column][vc_column_text] Doctor Referral Finding a physician or medical care provider that is experienced at recognizing, testing, diagnosing and treating Lyme and other tick-borne diseases is often difficult in Colorado as well as other parts of the country where the prevalence of disease is not highly reported.  Acute symptoms of many of the tick-borne diseases may be vague and flu-like and are easily misdiagnosed by primary care or ER physicians as flu or other viral illness. Because there are no CDC reported cases of Lyme or many co-infections known to have originated from Colorado (all reported cases are presumed to have been contracted in other states), doctors may be inexperienced about the diseases or are hesitant to test for diseases if a person does not have a recent history of travel to...

What is Lyme disease?

[vc_row][vc_column width="2/3"][vc_column_text] What is Lyme disease? Lyme is the most commonly reported vector borne disease in the United States. New estimates released by the CDC in 2021 are that 476,000 people are diagnosed and treated for Lyme disease each year. Schwartz AM, Kugeler KJ, Nelson CA, et al. Evaluation of commercial insurance claims as an annual data source for Lyme disease diagnoses. Emerg Infect Dis. 2021;27(2). Kugeler KJ, Schwartz AM, Delorey M, et al. Estimating the frequency of Lyme disease diagnoses —United States, 2010-2018. Emerg Infect Dis. 2021;27(2). Lyme is a multi-systemic disease caused by a spirochete bacterial infection in humans, pets and other animals in the US and worldwide. When Lyme disease is accurately diagnosed and properly treated patients often recover completely. However, some individuals experience long-term, debilitating effects, if left...

Lyme Disease in Colorado?

[vc_row][vc_column width="2/3"][vc_column_text] Can you get Lyme in Colorado? This is a highly controversial topic between patients, medical professionals and others in the state of Colorado which often results in doctors and patients butting heads when seeking care. Very few cases of Lyme have been reported in Colorado, though numbers have been increasing in recent years with the highest annual number ever reported in 2019 with 8 cases.  It is the State's position that none of these cases have been reported to the CDC as having originated from Colorado. Many more cases of Lyme have been reported in some adjacent states. This surveillance data  often influences physician diagnosis and testing for Coloradans that have been infected and do not recall a tick bite nor have recent documented exposure in...

Diagnosing Lyme Disease

[vc_row][vc_column][vc_column_text] Diagnosing Lyme Lyme disease is a clinical diagnosis According to the CDC, a diagnosis of Lyme disease should be based on symptoms. If you have symptoms of Lyme disease you may be infected, even if your blood test is negative. It can be especially challenging for Coloradans to receive accurate diagnosis and effective treatment for Lyme and potential co-infections. Many Colorado physicians are not experienced at recognizing the many manifestations of Lyme and co-infections. They may not consider Lyme in the differential diagnosis, especially if their patient has not recently travelled to a known endemic area, or if they do not recall a tick bite. The belief that "Lyme does not exist in Colorado"  often inhibits timely diagnosis and treatment for patients regardless of where they may have been exposed. It is important...

Symptoms of Lyme Disease

[vc_row][vc_column width="2/3"][vc_column_text] Lyme Symptoms Initial symptoms of Lyme disease typically develop 3-30 days after exposure to an infected tick bite and may appear as moderate to severe flu-like symptoms. Given that fatigue and flu-like symptoms often arise from other causes, Lyme disease may not be considered in the differential diagnosis and the patient may suffer for many months with an unrecognized, untreated infectious illness. The initial infection may also go unrecognized by the patient especially if symptoms occur in the winter months, are mild, or if there is an absence of rash or recollection of a tick bite. The Lyme bacterium can disseminate quickly, making treatment more complex in later stages. The diagnostic “Bull’s eye” or Erythema Migrans Rash (EM) commonly associated with this disease may not present in...

Testing for Lyme Disease

[vc_row][vc_column][vc_column_text] Testing for Lyme Disease Blood tests for Lyme disease can be inaccurate The primary laboratory tests for Lyme disease are blood tests used to detect the antibodies created by your body to fight and kill the bacteria that causes Lyme. Blood tests for Lyme disease and co-infections may result in false negatives and false positives, and tests are not yet available for some of the many strains of Lyme or for some of the co-infections that may be acquired with or independently of Lyme. Early in the infection with Lyme bacteria, antibodies may not have had time to develop in your body. Therefore, a blood test at this time will often appear negative. It can take your body up to two months to develop enough antibodies to be detected by these tests. You...

Co-infections and Lyme

[vc_row][vc_column][vc_column_text] Co-infections and Lyme Some people who are sick with Lyme disease may have “co-infections”.  While “Lyme disease” usually refers specifically to an infection with Borrelia burgdorferi, the term is sometimes used to describe a tick-borne illness involving multiple pathogens. Co-infection is becoming more prevalent in the tick species that are responsible for transmitting Lyme disease to humans and may influence factors leading to pathogen transmission. Multiple pathogens that are transmitted simultaneously, termed "coinfections," are of increasing importance and can affect disease outcome in a host. For instance, studies have shown that simultaneous infection of ticks with A. phagocytophilum (Anaplasmosis) and B. burgdorferi (Lyme) leads to higher spirochete burdens. A tick is capable of transmitting multiple pathogens during a single bite. Multiple tick bites also increase the risk for acquiring more...

Treatment for Lyme Disease

[vc_row][vc_column width="2/3"][vc_column_text] How is Lyme treated? Case numbers of infection with B. burgdorferi and other tick-borne pathogens are increasing nationwide, and researchers are discovering new, previously unknown species that cause Lyme disease. When Lyme disease is accurately diagnosed and properly treated during the early stage of disease, patients often recover completely. Misdiagnosis, delayed diagnosis, and/or inadequate treatment can result in disseminated infection that can have a significant and long-term impact on a person’s daily functioning, cognitive abilities, mood, and overall health. Co-infections often result in more serious and complex illness. Timely, accurate, diagnosis and treatment is therefore critical for the best outcome in patients! Physicians in Colorado and nationwide have different approaches to treating Lyme disease It can be challenging to find treatment in Colorado for Lyme and tick-borne diseases. Some...

Lyme Disease in Children

[vc_row][vc_column][vc_column_text] Lyme Disease in Children Children are at higher risk of acquiring tick-borne diseases based on their outdoor activities. According to the CDC, the highest infection rates for Lyme disease occur in children, ages 5 to 9. Of the over 300,000 cases of Lyme disease reported in people in the US each year, one in four is a child. Pregnancy and Lyme Disease In addition to tick transmitted infections, Lyme disease and many other tick-borne diseases may be transmitted to children congenitally. Women that are pregnant when bitten by a tick, or may have undiagnosed or untreated infections during pregnancy may transmit infections to their unborn children. Evaluation and treatment options should be obtained from a Lyme Literate Medical Doctor for women who are pregnant or plan to become pregnant. In...

Financial Assistance

[vc_row][vc_column][vc_column_text] Financial Assistance Diagnosis, testing and treatment for Lyme and other tick-borne infections are expenses often not covered by insurance. These financial burdens are frequently devastating to individuals or families dealing with these diseases and can make access to care unaffordable or even impossible for some. Below are a few resources for financial assistance:[/vc_column_text][/vc_column][/vc_row][vc_row][vc_column width="1/3"][vc_single_image image="983" img_size=""][/vc_column][vc_column width="2/3"][lvca_spacer][lvca_spacer][vc_column_text] Lyme Disease Association LymeAid4Kids Lyme Disease Association, Inc., 501(c)3, non-profit, provides financial support through the LA4K fund for children and young adults (under age 21) who need diagnosis and treatment, but lack insurance coverage. They have awarded grants to hundreds of children since 2004.[/vc_column_text][/vc_column][/vc_row][vc_row][vc_column width="1/3"][vc_single_image image="4164" img_size=""][/vc_column][vc_column width="2/3"][lvca_spacer][lvca_spacer][vc_column_text] LivLyme Foundation livlymefoundation.org Olivia is a courageous young Coloradan that started the LivLyme Foundation, 501(c)3 non-profit to raise money for children that cannot afford their Lyme medication...