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.
Click here to watch Yul Brynner sing what I’m nominating as the CDC’s new theme song.
If you can do it without pulling out your hair and screeching to the heavens, click here to see the CDC website about Lyme disease.
TOUCHED BY LYME is written by Dorothy Kupcha Leland, LymeDisease.org’s VP for Education and Outreach. Contact her at firstname.lastname@example.org.
- January 25, 2013 at 9:37 am
The CDC’s flawed Lyme statistic maps and their failure to disclose the truth about reporting practices create confusion among citizens & medical providers alike. The CDC fails to mention the astounding fact that rashes alone are reportable in the Northeastern USA but in the South, they are not. One IOM report estimated that 70% of reported cases are rashes alone (yet they’re only counted in a few states). How can statistics be compared North to South when what is a reportable case in one region is routinely dismissed in another?
More diverse Lyme borrelia species (7) and strains (hundreds) have been identified in the SE USA than in any other region of the USA. In 1999, Georgia researchers published that Lyme bacteria here are so different, the South needs its own LD testing system. We still await these tests while thousands of citizens, maybe millions, go undetected, misdiagnosed, untreated and unreported.
The CDC must warn doctors and citizens to be on the lookout for Lyme disease in humans in regions such as the SE USA, where published evidence spanning 20 years documents Lyme bacteria in thousands of ticks and animals. They must tell medical providers that more sensitive, regionally-specific LD tests are needed.
- February 1, 2013 at 11:29 am
My dr told me that if you do not test CDC positive then you cannot even be reported as having Lyme so that makes their statistics even more inaccurate.
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