Co-infection with Lyme Disease

Ticks carry dozens of infectious diseases, and will frequently pass more than one germ through the bite.  

It is becoming increasingly clear to Lyme-literate doctors that the symptoms and diagnosis of Lyme Disease is being impacted synergistically by co-infections, which can greatly complicate treatment protocols and adversly impact the ultimate recovery of those suffering from chronic infections.

An excellent presentation from Columbia University on Lyme disease and many of the co-infections can be found at:  www.columbia.edu/itc/hs/nursing/m8770/2003/infectious%20diseases.ppt

In addition to Babesia, Bartonella, Ehrlichia and CPN, ticks can spread the following diseases together with, or seperately from Lyme:

Rocky Mountain Spotted Fever

Rocky Mountain spotted fever is the most severe and most frequently reported ricketts-type illness in the United States. The parasite invades the cells lining the heart and blood vessels, and without prompt and appropriate treatment, this illness can be fatal.  The symptoms include: high fever, severe headache (especially behind the eyes), photophobia, and a tell-tale rash that starts at the extremities and spreads to the trunk.

For more information: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Rocky_Mountain_Spotted_Fever

Colorado Tick Fever

Colorado Tick fever is an acute viral infection that lodges inside the cells. The symptoms include: high fever, chills, severe muscle aches, excessive sweating, back pain, headache (especially behind the eyes), photophobia, nausea, vomiting, and diarrhea.

For more information: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Colorado_tick_fever

Relapsing Fever

Relapsing fever is caused by a spirochete carried by at least 15 different Borrelia species and is extremely virulent.  They can be transmitted in minutes rather than hours.  The symptoms include: headache, chills, repeated bouts of high fever, eye inflammation, coughing and possibly jaundice. The symptoms flare for up to a week and then disappear, only to re-appear – hence the name.

For more information: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Relapsing_fever 

Tularemia

Tularemia, also known as “Rabbit Fever” is a potentially serious illness caused by a bacteria found especially in rodents (and spread by ticks). The symptoms include: headaches, painful and swollen lymph nodes, fever, chills, fatigue and diarrhea.Tularemia can also be contracted by handling infected animal carcasses, eating or drinking contaminated food or water and breathing in the bacteria. 

For more information: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tularemia

Powassan encephalitis

Powassan encephalitis is an arthropod-borne virus (arbovirus) without any known cure. The virus quickly invades and infects the brain causing the following symptoms: high fever, headache, pain behind the eyes, light sensitivity, muscle weakness, seizures, paralysis, brain inflammation and can also cause fatality.

Read here about recent outbreak in Maine and Vermont. 

Tick Paralysis

Tick paralysis is a condition caused by a toxic reaction to saliva from female ticks. The paralysis begins in legs and spreads throughout the body within hours.  Thankfully, the recovery is rapid following the removal of the tick.  

For more information: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tick_paralysis

Q-Fever

Q-Fever is an infectious organism commonly found in cattle, sheep, goats, and other domestic animals, including cats and dogs. The infection results from breathing in the bacteria and/or contact with the vaginal mucus, milk, feces, urine or semen of infected animals. It is considered possibly the most infectious disease in the world, as a human being can be infected by a single bacterium. The symptoms include: sudden onset of fever, severe headache, loss of appetite, vomiting, diarrhea, dry cough, muscle pain, chills and confusion.  It is usually fatal, if untreated.

For more information http://www.cdc.gov/ncidod/dvrd/qfever/  

Chlamydia

Chlamydia, usually thought of as a sexually transmitted disease, is caused by a bacteria that has recently been identified in ticks.  The symptoms are frequently absent although damage can be severe (infertility in women). 

For more information: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Chlamydia 

Chlamydia Pneumoniae

Symptoms are very similar to Lyme and correct treatment will also result in herxheimer effect.  IBS, Sinusitis, Epstein Barr, Diabetes and chronic respiratory problems are very symptomatic in addition to the neurological and infammatory problems associated with Lyme.Chlamydia Pneumoniae is unlike most bacteria in that it cannot survive as an active organism outside your body's cells. Most bacteria can be treated fairly easily with antibiotics because they circulate in the blood, whereas this one cannot.

For more information: http://cpnhelp.org/

HHV6

Human Herpes Virus #6 is a virus that infects white blood cells (not to be confused with the virus that causes cold sores) specifically T lymphocytes. It is also known to infect and destroy the cells that produce myelin, the fatty coating that surrounds and protects nerve cells. Additionally, the virus demonstrates the ability to cause disruption of the normal functioning of the human immune system. The symptoms include: mononucleosis, autoimmune disorders, and nervous system diseases. 

For more information: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/HHV6

   

Jenna Seaver author of lyme disease resource

Jenna in Maui

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