“In most cases, the tick must be attached for 36-48 hours or more before the Lyme disease bacterium can be transmitted.”
This quote is taken directly from the CDC website, the one place we all wish would share the facts and evidence (although the truth is very unpopular with many medical professionals who in turn look to the IDSA for guidelines on treatment and diagnosis of Lyme. Unfortunately the evidence is missing there too – see http://www.ilads.org/lyme_disease/media/pdf/IDSA_stevephillips.pdf.)
Although the following story was not documented, the veterinarian still sticks to his story almost ten years after the fact. I would be willing to bet there are many more unpublished and undocumented stories such as this – especially from veterinarians who have been on the front line of treating Lyme in this country.
Dr. Gary Stuer, the owner of Bethel Animal Hospital in Bethel Maine tells of a potentially tragic story – derailed due to his sharp intelligence and experience of working with tick-borne diseases in western Maine just steps away from the Appalachian trail.
He describes taking a blood sample from a nervous dog suspected of having Lyme disease, and as the vial filled with blood the dog shook his head strenuously which knocked the syringe from the doctor’s hand and sent the needle flying directly into Dr. Stuer’s arm.
Dr. Stuer immediately removed the needle and was shocked to see a bulls-eye rash develop in that exact location just days after the incident. The rash was quickly followed by flu-like symptoms that Dr. Stuer immediately treated successfully with four weeks of Doxycycline.
Dr. David Pendray, a respected veterinarian friend of mine in Laramie Wyoming complains bitterly of the current state of affairs in our country where we take better care of our Lyme-infected animals than we do the ever-escalating number of humans. When I first became ill and could not get a diagnosis from any of the myriad of tests my doctor took, Dr. Pendray suspected Lyme and/or a co-infection of Lyme as soon as I began to share my symptoms with him.
To this day, five years later, I still have marginal test results in spite of the severity of my symptoms and yet my husband, who is actively working and seemingly symptom free, is strongly Lyme-positive according to the CDC’s definition using the western blot.
People forget that there is no definitive test to diagnose Lyme yet, but we have reason to hope there will be soon (see http://www.lymediseaseresource.com/wordpress/dr-eva-sapi-forges-ahead-with-exciting-new-lyme-cultures/.) Additionally, due to political pressure and the hard evidence researchers are finding about Lyme and related tick born diseases, new research dollars are being channeled into promising cutting edge science.