TOUCHED BY LYME: Book calls epidemic “global and dangerous”
The story of Lyme disease in the modern world is maddeningly complex. To even begin to properly tell it, you need to give context about ticks, the infections they can carry, and how those diseases affect humans and animals.
You should discuss the inadequacies of “standard” lab testing and the workings of the human immune system.
And you must explore how the medical establishment “treats” Lyme disease, how legions of sick people are abandoned by the system, and the failure of health officials to properly address a developing epidemic.
And that’s just for starters.
Mary Beth Pfeiffer’s new book, Lyme: The First Epidemic of Climate Change, does a masterful job of tackling these thorny issues—and many more. Its comprehensive look at the worldwide implications of Lyme disease fills a gaping need.
Pfeiffer started covering the Lyme disease beat while she was an investigative reporter for the Poughkeepsie Journal in New York state. Her award-winning series of articles published from 2012-2015 led to the creation of this book.
When she left the paper a few years ago to finish the project, she zeroed in on the subject matter even more. She interviewed physicians, patients and advocates on three continents, spoke to dozens of research scientists around the world, and read reams of research studies.
She adroitly weaves all that information together in a compelling narrative that leads to an inescapable conclusion:
“This is an epidemic. It is global and dangerous. It is spreading to new places on earth and affecting places in the human body, the brain for one, in ways that are not fully understood. History teaches us that medicine sometimes clings fiercely to convictions that are ultimately proven wrong. Lyme disease is one such time.”
Throughout the book, she documents a variety of responses and potential solutions directed at different slices of the problem. At the end, she summarizes by listing three things that must occur, if this scourge is to be controlled:
“First, the pain of tens, maybe hundreds, of thousands of long-term tick-borne disease sufferers must be recognized. Why solve a problem that has barely been acknowledged?
Second, health issues must be addressed, including the need for better tests and treatment trials, and an acceptance that the problem is tick-borne disease, not only Lyme disease.
Finally, an organized, coordinated effort must be made to tackle the problem of ticks in the environment and the harm they do.”
“Lyme: The First Epidemic of Climate Change” is a groundbreaking book. It should be read by anyone who cares about the health of our planet and the people who live on it.
On April 7, Mary Beth Pfeiffer will be a guest speaker at MyLymeData2018: Seeking Cures Together, a patient education conference in San Ramon, CA.
People who register for the conference by March 18 may pre-order copies of the book at a discount. The books will then be distributed at the conference, with an opportunity to have them autographed by the author. Click here for details.
(People unable to attend the conference can order a book at the discounted rate directly from the publisher by clicking here. Use the promotion code 4LYME.)
TOUCHED BY LYME is written by Dorothy Kupcha Leland, LymeDisease.org’s VP for Communications. She is co-author of When Your Child Has Lyme Disease: A Parent’s Survival Guide. Contact her at email@example.com .
- March 12, 2018 at 6:48 am
Thank you for writing this book Mary Beth. When will the world listen? More documented information regarding this insidious disease that “the powers that be” choose to ignore. Frustrating!
- March 12, 2018 at 11:01 am
Mary Beth is truly a Lyme hero. I have not read her book but here are some quick answers:
“First, the pain of tens, maybe hundreds, of thousands of long-term tick-borne disease sufferers must be recognized. Why solve a problem that has barely been acknowledged?”
Answer: Money.. aside from the fact Big Pharma doesn’t have something special to sell to treat Lyme, the fact that 20 % of the population is infected then the government and insurance companies would be on the hook for vast amounts of money because disability could not be denied and there is a lot of disability among Lyme patients, and 3rd party payers could not deny treatment like they do today.
“Second, health issues must be addressed, including the need for better tests and treatment trials, and an acceptance that the problem is tick-borne disease, not only Lyme disease.”
Answer: In the world of denialism, you don’t address secondary health issues for a problem you are negating.
“Finally, an organized, coordinated effort must be made to tackle the problem of ticks in the environment and the harm they do. ”
Answer: There are three animals that can help in the fight against Lyme…. Foxes, opossums and probably the most important… Guinea Hens.. they are voracious tick eaters. We need the equivalent of Johnny Appleseed for Guinea Hens…. starting colonies of these birds wherever they can survive.
- March 12, 2018 at 3:21 pm
Great insight! I just realized that I am very lucky to be misdiagnosed with fibromyalgia instead of long term chronic TBD’s, and therefore am receiving disability benefits.
As for eradicating ticks, it would be easier to eradicate humans. It’s just not realistic.
- March 17, 2018 at 1:24 pm
I was diagnosed with Lyme in 2011 (lived in Georgia adjacent to 2000 acres of pine trees and deer) my information was sent to the CDC. If you do not have access to this information i am more than happy to assist with your work and release my results if there is a problem. I am supportive and wish you the best. I have been to doctors who had never even heard of Lyme.
- March 18, 2018 at 8:50 am
Lyme disease IS a very real and scary thing. However equating climate change with Lyme disease, is a very different issue. As a researcher,and finding that I may have Lyme (going to a Lyme literate physician in a couple of weeks), I have of course researched Lyme. It seems that ticks LOVE dampness. Being an outdoorsy kind of person, ticks have become more prevalent in the last 20 years, they are everywhere now and they were not EVERYWHERE 20 years ago.
Did you know that we can change the weather and we have been doing it for years. In fact, on our state dept.’s website, there is an agreement titled “Convention on the Prohibition of Military or Any Other Hostile Use of Environmental Modification Techniques”, here is the link https://www.state.gov/t/isn/4783.htm . So when I hear someone say the word “climate change”, I kind of perk up. Not only do governments of the world change the weather, but private corporations do as well. Here are some companies for you to google – weathermodification.com, North American Weather C. Inc., Artificialclouds.com, and I can go on and on.
I have not read the book, I am only going off of the title, but when you read the “Agreement Between Canada and the United States of America Relating to the Exchange of Information on Weather Modification Activities” (treaty E103819), which, in case you didn’t know, when “cloud seeding” is taking place in one area, the effect of cloud seeding on the neighboring areas is sometimes catastrophic. You will then start to get an idea of what is going on. And if you take into consideration that we can make it rain and we have been doing this for at least 50 years, and we know that ticks love the dampness, then you start to see something that is not very nice. And it’s not because I drive an SUV.
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