Facts About Lyme Disease

The following was provided to us by Dr. Warren M. Levin, MD, PLLC — an expert on Lyme Disease.

Lyme Disease Discovered in 1974 in Lyme, Connecticut, it is a bacterial infection caused by the spirochete Borrelia burgdoferi (Bb). The ticks that transmit the bacteria in North America include the Western black-legged (Ixodes pacificus) and the black-legged tick (Ixodes scapularis). The sheep tick (Ixodes ricinus) and the Taiga tick (Ixodes persulcatus) are responsible for transmitting the disease elsewhere. Needless to say, Lyme disease is a world-wide concern.

Is it Lyme Disease?

If you have been bitten by a tick, have the Erythema Migrans (EM) rash — also referred to as a bull's eye or Lyme rash — or if you have any of the following non-inclusive symptoms, it could be Lyme disease.

Symptoms include:

flu-like headache, fatigue, fever, muscle aches and stiff neck, hot flashes or night sweats, sore throat, swollen glands, joint pain or swelling, nausea, problems with sleeping, chills, weakness or paralysis of limbs, loss of reflexes, tingling sensations or numbness of the extremities, meningitis, change in smell and/or taste, difficulty chewing, swallowing, or speaking, facial paralysis, dizziness, inability to turn head, light or sound sensitivity, change in hearing, memory problems, difficulty in word finding, confusion, decreased concentration, problems with numbers, behavioral changes such as depression or other personality changes, unexplained panic attacks, disorientation, hallucinations, obsessive behavior, paranoia, dementia, eating disorders, irregular heartbeats or thoughts of suicide

Dr. Warren M. Levin, having had Lyme disease himself states, "I had no bite mark or EM rash. I started out with sudden profound fatigue. I treated it the way I was told — four weeks of antibiotics — and I got better. A year later though, I was sick again with what I assumed was a relapse. At the time, I thought I had gotten another bite. I spoke with a local physician, a member of International Lyme and Associated Diseases Society (ILADS). He told me that I had to be treated longer and with IV antibiotics. Once again, I got better. At this time, I don't know if I am cured — because we have no way tell this."

Dr. Levin concludes, "Early treatment is short and effective, but unlike most other infections, long term immunity is not guaranteed after recovery or immunization, and It is impossible (outside of a very few research facilities) to differentiate a new infection from a recurrence of an old one that has been "hiding" or "dormant" in the body after treatment which has been stopped too soon. Knowing when to stop is often more difficult than making the diagnosis."

Warren M. Levin, MD has been treating Lyme disease since the mid 90's and is an active member of ILADS.

Warren M. Levin, MD, PLLC
407 Church Street NE - Suite E
Vienna, VA 22180

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