The Dot & the Damage Done

You can’t even see the tick bite, but you know the havoc it causes. Lyme is a baffling, horrifying, growing disease, and doctors are still fighting over how to treat it. Can anything be done?



‘You’re not treating an ear infection, you’re treating a possible brain infection’
— Diane Blanchard, Time for Lyme

More than thirty years after Lyme disease was identified in the eastern Connecticut town for which it was named, more than twenty years after public-health researcher Willy Burgdorfer discovered the bacterium that causes Lyme, and four years after Connecticut found itself with the undesirable distinction of having the second-highest incidence of the disease in the country, there is still no reliable test for the dreaded illness, and no surefire cure.

So, in a largely wooded state with increasing encroachment upon deer habitats and an exploding deer population, all optimal conditions for ticks to flourish, the only effective tool against contracting Lyme is prevention.

Prevention? For active people facing a glorious Connecticut summer, this might seem to be not enough. Indeed, the state’s Department of Public Health has just announced that the disease has increased by 34 percent in the last year. And everybody knows somebody who is suffering badly right this minute.

That’s why, after appraising the myriad issues surrounding this disease, Diane Blanchard, copresident of the advocacy group Time for Lyme, said, “If anything, things are worse than ever before.”

So what’s holding things up? For one thing, it’s an elaborately tricky disease.

Why so hard to diagnose?
The corkscrew-shaped bacterium that causes Lyme, Borrelia burgdorferi, possesses an ingeniousness that would be applauded if it weren’t also so perverse. This microscopic organism is transmitted to humans most often through the bite of a young black-legged deer tick that is barely bigger than a pinprick at the time of year — late spring to midsummer — when people wear summer clothes.

Delivered through the tick’s painless bite, the bacterium’s only distinctive visible manifestation is an expanding red rash, most commonly in the shape of a bull’s-eye. Known as an erythema migrans (EM), the rash is absent in anywhere from one-fourth to one-half the people who become infected.

 

Greenwich Agenda

  • The Many Faces of Multi Media

    2014.09.20
     @ Meli-Melo of Greenwich

    Dr. Julia Trebing, Director Creative Therapies in Stamford, CT exhibits her paintings at Meli-Melo Creperie & Juice Bar  during Sept...

  • Joie Special Shopping Event

    2014.09.30
     @ Joie

    Joie invites you to a special shopping event! Enjoy wine & hor d'oeuvres while shopping 20% off your purchase Enter to win a...

  • Nigh Season: New Paintings By David Konigsberg

    2014.09.13
     @ Kenise Barnes Fine Art

    Dates: September 13 – October 31, 2014 Opening Reception: September 13, 6 – 8:30 PM  Public Invited   NIGH...

  • Undulate: Paintings By Julie Gross and Margaret Neill

    2014.09.13
     @ Kenise Barnes Fine Art

    GALLERY II Dates: September 13 – October 31, 2014 Opening Reception: September 13, 6 – 8:30 PM Public Invited...

  • A Wine Education Evening

    2014.09.30

    Join the Orthopaedic Foundation for a 10th Anniversary soiree, celebrating women! The evening will feature a Wine Education by Sommelier Theresa...

  • Parties at the JCC Center

    2014.09.02
     @ Stamford JCC

    A place to celebrate birthdays and special occasions. Be a guest at your own party! The JCC offers a wonderful space for you and your guests to...

  • SPLURGE Matches Scarf Donations for Cancer Patients

    2014.10.01
     @ SPLURGE

    SPLURGE and the Cancer Institute at Greenwich Hospital are partnering to bring comfort and encouragement to cancer patients.  From October...

  • Breast Cancer Alliance's Go For Pink Shopping Event

    2014.10.02
     @ Greenwich Avenue area

    Breast Cancer Alliance announced that it is partnering with Greenwich merchants for a special day of events and shopping on Thursday, October 2nd...

  • New Goergen Lecture

    2014.10.02
     @ Bruce Museum

    Reflections on Highlights of the Hohenbuchau Collection featuring Peter C. Sutton Known today as the "Golden Age" of Netherlandish...

  • Laurel House Family Seminar Series

    2014.09.18
     @ Laurel House

    Thursday evenings, September 18, October 2, 16, 30, 6:30-8:00 pm Join us Thursday evenings for this four part Family Seminar Series as...

  • Muddy Up 5k Adventure Run & Family Fun Walk

    2014.10.05
     @ Camp Simmons

    Are you ready for some MUDDY fun? Boys & Girls Club of Greenwich is proud to host the 3rd annual Muddy Up 5k Adventure Run & Family Fun...

  • Muddy Up 5k & Family Fun Walk

    2014.10.05
     @ Camp Simmons

    Race starts at 9:15 a.m. REGISTRATION HAS BEEN EXTENDED TO MON. SEPT. 29 at 8:00 A.M. DON'T LIKE THE MUD? SPONSOR A CLUB MEMBER TO RUN...

  • Sweat for a Cause

    2014.10.05
     @ SoulCycle Greenwich

    The Young Women's League of New Canaan (YWL) is sponsoring its first fundraiser of the season, "Sweat For A Cause" at SoulCycle...

  • SM&NC Farm Market

    2014.06.15
     @ Stamford Museum & Nature Center

    Sundays, June 15 – October 5, 10am – 2pm We're thrilled to bring back the SM&NC Farm Market — now on Sundays!...

  • Tuesday Toddler Tours

    2014.10.07
     @ Bruce Museum

    Come to the Bruce this fall to take part in our exciting new children and family programming! No advance registration is required and programs...

  • Flower Power

    2014.10.08
     @ SM Home Gallery

    SM Home Gallery show featuring two Greenwich based artists: Margaret Bragg and Penny Putnam. The art show runs thorough November 22nd....

  • Lyme Research Alliance 3rd Annual Golf Tournament

    2014.10.09
     @ The Stanwich Club

    Tee up and raise funds & awareness for Lyme disease awareness at one of the area’s finest golf courses. The golf tournament is part of...

  • Exhibit Ira BARKOFF

    2014.10.11
     @ Canfin Gallery

    “The beauty of the physical world becomes a metaphor for the capacity of the spirit to reveal itself". Ira Barkoff Evocation of...

  • Outdoor Arts Festival

    2014.10.11
     @ Bruce Museum

    Come and enjoy the Bruce Museum’s 33rd Annual Outdoor Arts Festival. More than 85 artists from all over the country, many of them new to...


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