No Lyme in Mississippi? Wrong! Plus co-infections and alpha-gal too.
Cortney McCord delivered the following public comment at the Feb.28 meeting of the federal Tick-Borne Disease Working Group.
My name is Cortney McCord. I’m a 41-year-old registered nurse from Northeast Mississippi.
On May 8, 2021, I found a deer tick on my leg. I developed an erythema migrans rash and two other small EM rashes.
My primary care provider gave me ten days of doxycycline and told me not to worry because we don’t have Lyme in Mississippi.
I became so sick. I had to become my own advocate. I found the closest Lyme-literate doctor who was two hours away from my home.
He began to treat me with antibiotics based on my obvious symptoms and the presence of the EM rash. Testing showed positive for three Lyme-specific bands on Western Blot, and co-infections of Bartonella henselae, Bartonella quintana, Bartonella vinsonii, Babesia microti, and Babesia duncani.
Twelve weeks after the bite that gave me Lyme, I developed alpha-gal syndrome. It didn’t start with gastric problems like most people. My very first reaction happened when I was frying pork breakfast sausage for my family.
I had two other severe reactions that week. The next week, I saw my local allergist who drew bloodwork for alpha gal IgE. My number was 0.32.
The allergist told me that I should not be having anaphylactic reactions with that low number. He brushed me off and insinuated that I was lying. Needless to say, I fired him, and I’ve been flying blind with no allergist on board since August 2021.
A scary feeling
It’s a scary feeling having an expert doctor be ignorant of your very real airborne reactions. The ER staff, pharmacists, and my regular primary care just didn’t understand alpha gal syndrome.
I am driving 660 miles to see Dr. Scott Commins in March when I really should be able to find a local doctor that understands.
There’s clearly a need for more research. We need science for the sake of science that puts people ahead of profit.
But even more urgent than that, patients need our medical providers to be educated on alpha-gal syndrome. And not just doctors and medical people–teachers and school staff as well.
Use your influence to make this happen immediately. Please don’t just wait until this report goes to Congress.
We need clear labeling of products and medicines that contain mammal and mammal byproducts. This should be the ninth major allergen.
I’m begging you to look at www.alphagalinformation.org for a detailed understanding of the things you could do to make this easier on us.
We need a database for prescription medicine and medical supplies that clearly shows any mammalian ingredients or components.
We need all of these things to be safe, and I urge you to act now to make this happen. Thank you for your service to the American public and to the world