TOUCHED BY LYME: The CDC is…a puzzlement!
Making neither head nor tails of what the CDC website says about Lyme disease.
Do you remember the old musical “The King and I”? The king, played in the movie by Yul Brynner, laments how hard it can be to figure out what’s right and true in the modern world. Unlike in the past, when “What was so was so, What was not was not.” He finally throws his hands up in exasperation and exclaims, “It’s a PUZZLEMENT!”
Well, that’s how I feel whenever I look at the CDC website’s information about Lyme disease. In this blog entry, I’m not even going to go into how the CDC severely under counts Lyme in a way that hurts patients everywhere. (Click here to read a recent blog about that.) Or the inaccurate information the agency puts forth. Or how it ignores the fact that Lyme can be transmitted from a mother to her unborn child.
Today, the burr under my saddle is much simpler than that. Look at this screenshot taken from the CDC’s website. (I added the red circle.)
Okay, I’m willing to concede that there are probably more cases of Lyme in the those top 13 states than others. But to say that Lyme disease does NOT occur elsewhere? Clicking through to other pages on the same website shows cases reported from California, Texas, Florida, and most other states. (Again, I believe those are artificially low numbers, and as I said, I’m not arguing that point today.)
So, CDC, are you saying that every single one of the cases you’ve listed from far-flung other states got infected elsewhere? (And all the dogs from those states that have contracted Lyme have also traveled either to the eastern seaboard or the upper midwest?)
We know for a fact that Lyme-infected ticks are regularly found outside of the Lyme hot-spots you identify. Are you saying there’s no possibility that such ticks could infect anybody…ever? That’s kind of a stretch, isn’t it?
Like the King of Siam, I shake my head and say….it’s a puzzlement.
TOUCHED BY LYME is written by Dorothy Kupcha Leland, LymeDisease.org’s VP for Education and Outreach. Contact her at firstname.lastname@example.org.