Fortezza, Umilitade, e Largo Core - Courage, Humility, and Largeness of Heart.

Monday, June 11, 2012

The Spread of Lyme? [Updated]

Recently, via Social Media, I have been connecting to Lymies worldwide. I was shocked to learn that Lyme has spread to Holland, Germany, even Russia! Now I am not a doctor or a Public Health specialist, but I do have some degree of critical thinking and I can’t help but wonder how this is possible. My understanding of the current model of the spread of infection is via the Deer Tick (also known as the Blacklegged Tick or Ixodes scapularis or Ixodes pacificus) and wildlife (such as deer, squirrels, etc). There becomes a self perpetuating cycle of the tick getting Lyme from the animal and the infected tick then spreading it to other animals (even domesticated cats or dogs). [This can be seen on the CDC website.]

Even with this cycle continuing to compound without any intervention, I am at a loss to see how it is able to spread as rapidly and as far-reaching as it currently is. To take a facetious view of it: it’s not as if deer are hitching a ride on steamers from the U.S. to Europe. Ok, that’s flippant, but even with people bringing infected pets to Europe, it seems that the model above is too simplistic to explain the rapid spread worldwide.

So how is Lyme spreading so rapidly? I don’t have the answers but I sure would love for someone to come up a reasonable explanation because the one we currently have does not work for me.

After seeing my LLMD last week, he informed me that Lyme has actually been around for centuries. During the Iceman autopsy, they discovered two strains of DNA, the first being his and the second being Lyme. While reading up on the subject, I also found this article: Lyme Disease Bacterium Came From Europe Before Ice Age. So while there is conflicting data regarding the modes of transmission, the fact that it already existed in Eurasia for centuries explains my observations. 

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