Tick-borne diseases can cause serious diseases, including Lyme disease. There are ticks in wooded and grassy areas throughout New Jersey. This is what you should do after a family change to protect you from fist bites.
Russ Zimmer

"Hopefully, it breaks this gridlock that we have on Lyme disease," said Wall resident Pat Smith, a leading advocate and member of the panel.

Although the number of reported new disease diseases in Lyme has averaged fewer than 25,000 in the last decade, a federal working group gathered The address of fertile diseases claims that the actual number is 10 times greater and recommends developing a better test for detecting the bacterial infection.

The 100-page report to Congress, the first of three in a four-year period, is crucial because it represents a consensus on how to deal with Lyme after decades of disagreement between state officials and medical experts.

Discord has caused an explosion of cases across the country – from less than 13,000 20 years ago in New England to nearly 30,000 in 2017, the latest information available – advocates for Lyme patients.

"It's a good first step," said Pat Smith in Wall Township, New Jersey, a member of the 14-person working group. "Hopefully, we will break this gridlock that we have on Lyme disease."

► Aug 16: Brown dog ticks represented a fever epidemic in Mexico. The USA may be next.
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► July 12: First death from Rocky Mountain spotted fever in Wisconsin was confirmed

Lyme disease has been around for thousands of years, but in the United States it first understood in 1975 a cluster of children and adults around Lyme, Connecticut, who had arthritis-like symptoms. In 1982, researchers discovered that infected black spots transmitted Borrelia burgdorferi bacteria against humans, which causes infection with fever, headache and fatigue that can spread to the joints, the heart and the nervous system if left untreated.

"Patients still have difficulty, and doctors have trouble trying to treat them," she said. "I hope this will be an eye opener for Congress."

In the 1980s, the infection was affected by two of Smith's daughters, one of whom missed four years of school. She founded the non-profit Lyme Disease Association and has traveled the country to raise awareness.

"Now is the big question what Congress should do in the light of these recommendations?" She said.

Due to the severity test for the bacteria that cause Lyme disease are false positive and false negative common. The working group said that further investigations to diagnose all fatal diseases could save the country's money in the long run.

► June 12: Tick ​​paralysis: 5-year-old could suddenly not go, had difficulty talking
► May 23: What you need to know about tick disease, how to remove them

Rope. Chris Smith, R-N.J., Who advocated the creation of the group, demanded "for a coordinated, comprehensive federal response, including more funding of research" in response to the report.

On top of the list is tested. The report describes the deficiencies in the standard testing for Lyme through "serological analyzes" or blood samples that are looking for antibodies. This form of testing is notoriously unreliable in detecting Lyme, especially in the critical early stages of infection.

Pat Smith in Wall Township, N.J., left, with rep. Chris Smith, R-N.J., Fresh Laws Helped to Create the Lyme Disease Working Group. (Photo: J. Lynagh, Lyme Disease Association Inc.)

10 percent to 20 percent of Lyme disease patients diagnosed in early stages experience symptoms for six months or longer after diagnosis and treatment, according to the report. Those diagnosed later may end up in chronic Lyme disease and still have problems even after the infection is cured.

The report recommends federal investment in the development of new testing techniques. It also suggests exploring specific ways to better test children, believed to be as much as half of the infected population.

► May 8: CDC apologizes for concealing ticks on a muffin to warn of Lyme disease
► May 7: Lyme disease explained: Symptoms, treatments, conditions where cases occur

"The most important thing that everyone agrees with is that we need new types of Lyme disease tests," said Pat Smith. "We also need new types of therapeutic options for both acute Lyme and those with enduring disease."

Another focus in the report: The national monitoring system for the detection of fatal disease cases must be strengthened.

"Right now it's fair, it's a mess, even (in terms of recording) what kind of ticks we're watching in different states," she said.

► May 2: Tick, mosquito, flea disease triple; The USA is not fully prepared, says CDC
► July 2017: How Lyme disease can trigger hundreds of suicides

The report contains stories about people suffering from chewable diseases. After years of helping desperate patients cope with the horror stories of a generally misunderstood illness, Pat Smith wanted the report to reflect some of Lee's human toll.

"It talks about what patients experience in trying to get diagnosis and treatment," she said. "All kinds of problems are at the forefront of a change."

Follow Jerry Carino on Twitter: @NJHoopsHaven

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