Pressure from exacting and reputable researchers (sporting multiple advanced degrees) who are up-to-date with latest research in microbiology and infectious diseases, have finally caused a shift in mainstream research as I have been predicting.
Take a look:
“…last month, the Entomological Society of America release a “policy statement” on ticks that amounted to an urgent call for action, saying in part: “…Environmental, ecological, sociological, and human demographic factors [have] created a near ‘perfect storm’ leading to more ticks in more places throughout North America.”
It’s about time.
The International Conference on Emerging Infectious Diseases is a 1,500+ person meeting of MDs and PhD’s (medical doctors, research doctors, physicians microbiologists and epediologists); it is co-sponsored by the CDC, Prevention, and the American Society for Microbiology. The ICEID, as it’s known for short, happens in the spring every two years, but this conference was postponed until last month (August 2015).
Unbelievably, this huge conference was hosted by the CDC (Center for Disease Control), IDSA (Infectious Disease Society of America), the APHL (Association of Public Labs), WHO (World Health Organization) and thankfully, the ASMB (American Society for Microbiology). It is ultimately the microbiologists that unlock the secrets of bacteria.
So Maryn McKenna attended the conference, and wrote about it in the September 2015 issue of National Geographic. Her column, PHENOMENA, is called “GERMINATION: “Tickborne Diseases: Widespread, Serious, and Taking Us by Surprise.” The article is sure to cause a stir.
Ms. McKenna is not a “Lyme Loonie”, but an award-winning journalist and the author of two critically acclaimed books, Superbug (2010) and Beating Back the Devil (2004). She also writes for many popular magazines like Wired, Scientific American, National Geographic, Slate, Nature, the Atlantic, and many others, and is a Senior Fellow at the Schuster Institute for Investigative Journalism at Brandeis University.
It is refreshing to hear Ms. McKenna – an objective source – write down what we already know: Lyme disease is very real and much larger than Harvard wants anyone to know.
Harvard University is arguably the top medical school in the US if not the world, (or has been). For decades, since the discovery of borrelia in Lyme, Connecticut, there has been a concerted effort led by Dr. Alan Steere to control diagnosis and treatment options in order to fulfill contractual obligations – with corresponding royalty agreements. Dr. Steere was a rheumatologist at Yale and the lead investigator called in to study the sick children in Lyme CT.
Some reflect that had Dr. Steere been a ID doctor instead of a rheumatologist (he is on the executive committee of IDSA in spite of his background and expertise) that the shameful history of Lyme disease may have been vastly different. Regardless, this controversy within the medical community has only increased the suffering of its victims.
Columbia Medical Center’s “Lyme and Tick-Borne Diseases Research Center” was the first chronic Lyme disease research facility, and primarily funded by what used to be known as Time for Lyme. Now known as Lyme Research Alliance, (the NY fundraising organization was founded by the first Old Lyme, CT families who initially called Yale regarding their sick children.)
Columbia’s Lyme Research Center started off by publishing solid research on the chronic and morphological nature of Lyme disease as well as the overwhelming psychological and psychiatric symptoms that accompany the maddeningly evasive bacterial infection.
However, a few years back all the research papers were replaced with papers written by Harvard’s own Dr. Alan Steere.
But I digress. Back to last week’s international conference in Atlanta, GA…
You can imagine that Ebola was in the forefront of the conference due to last year’s outbreak , however, there were no fewer than 22 (twenty-two) sessions in 2 (two) days on tick-borne diseases, including Lyme carditis and the common Lyme co-infection Babesiosis.
One particularly terrifying event in Coconino County Public Health Services District in Arizona occurred after 5 high school students who had attended a football camp last year were hospitalized. When the dust cleared there were 11 probable cases of Borrelia hermsii (relapsing fever plus Lyme). This is the largest recorded outbreak among Arizona residents in the last 30 years. Several of these students had spirochetes identified on blood smears (what a novel concept!) . This triggered an investigation to confirm the outbreak, identify the cause, and prevent additional cases. Just one year later 2 cases of Tularemia were diagnosed – another tick-borne disease that can be transmitted by itself or together with Borrelia.