Chronic Lyme disease is one of the fastest growing, most under-diagnosed epidemics in the country, according to a new study, but the CDC won’t even acknowledge it exists. Here’s why:
By by 2050, one in ten Americans will have been infected with Lyme disease, according to a new study.
Because of under-diagnosis and inadequate treatment, many of those cases will turn into chronic Lyme disease, a debilitating and life-threatening disease the CDC won’t even acknowledge exists.
That’s because the agency is colluding with insurance companies to keep down treatment costs, according to the author of the study and two antitrust lawsuits.
Lyme disease is on the rise. Reported cases have grown 25-fold in the last 30 years. It’s the fastest growing vector-borne illness in the country.
That’s because increased urbanization is killing off the predators of both ticks and mice, who the ticks typically pick up the bacteria that causes the disease from.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and insurance companies would like us to believe its a simple disease with a simple remedy, a three-week course of antibiotics.
But according to a growing alliance of “Lyme Literate Medical Doctors,” it’s far more complicated.
Lyme disease can mimic arthritis, chronic fatigue, fibromyalgia, Alzheimer’s and multiple sclerosis and is very difficult to diagnose.
After being bitten by a tick, mosquito, flea, mite or spider carrying the Borrelia burgdorferi bacteria patients usually experience fatigue, fever, headaches and joint or muscle pain.
If not caught early, symptoms can progress to muscle spasms, loss of motor coordination, intermittent paralysis, meningitis and even heart problems.
The corkscrew shape of the bacteria allows it to hide in a variety of different body tissues, making it difficult to detect and kill.
CDC-recommended blood tests for Lyme disease are highly inaccurate, often indicating false negatives.
The test looks for an immune response to the bacteria, not for the bacteria itself. Because it can take several weeks for the body to mount an immune response, the test is often negative if given within a month of the bite, according to Harvard Medical School.
“Chronic Lyme disease is a well-hidden pandemic, because one, the tests for Lyme disease are insensitive,” writes the author of the study Marcus Davidsson. “And two, even if patients are ‘lucky’ enough to test positive, patients will sometimes not receive antibiotic treatment because then the infectious disease physicians claim without scientific evidence that the antibodies are old and not a sign of an active infection.”
Aside from being difficult to diagnose, Lyme is extremely difficult to treat. And this is where the “Lyme Wars,” begin.
It’s a showdown with the CDC and the Infectious Diseases Society of America on one side, and the The International Lyme and Associated Diseases Society on the other.
The former insists that all Lyme infections can be easily treated with three weeks of oral antibiotics, despite several studies that have shown the Borrelia bacteria can easily survive this prescription.
The latter is comprised of a group of “Lyme Literate Medical Doctors” from around the world who recognize chronic Lyme disease as a real and serious disease, and who recommend long-term intravenous antibiotics.
According to a 2016 study, funded by the International Lyme and Associated Diseases Society, 63% of people infected with Borrelia, eventually develop chronic Lyme disease.
Despite the diagnosis “chronic Lyme disease” becoming more and more popular among doctors, the CDC refuses to recognize it as a real disease, instead referring to it as “Post-Treatment Lyme Disease Syndrome,” a condition with “non-specific symptoms,” the cause of which is “unknown.”
The agency says it “does not support the use of the term chronic Lyme disease,” claiming it is often “used to describe symptoms in people who have no evidence of a current or past infection with B. burgdorferi.”
Additionally, the CDC is failing to warn people that the disease can be transmitted sexually, the study claims.
The International Lyme and Associated Diseases Society says the CDC doesn’t want to admit that it’s a real disease, because insurance companies don’t want to pay for longer-term IV antibiotics which are more expensive, but more effective according to Lyme Literate MDs.
In 2006, the Infectious Diseases Society of America treatment guidelines (endorsed by the CDC) were subjected to an antitrust investigation by the Connecticut Attorney General, which found that many IDSA panel members had conflicts of interest.
In 2017, another antitrust lawsuit was filed against the IDSA along with several large insurance companies, alleging they violated the Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organizations Act and the Sherman Antitrust Act.
In both cases, insurance companies are accused of colluding with the IDSA to ensure chronic Lyme disease is not classified as a real disease caused by bacteria, so that IV antibiotic treatment can be denied.
In 2016 an anonymous whistleblower group of scientists from within the CDC, calling themselves CDC Scientists Preserving Integrity, Diligence and Ethics in Research, raised concerns about the CDC’s position on chronic Lyme disease, stating “We are a group of scientists at CDC that are very concerned about the current state of ethics at our agency. It appears that our mission is being influenced and shaped by outside parties and rogue interests”.
Doctors have even lost their practices for successfully diagnosing and treating chronic Lyme disease, as shown in the film Under Our Skin. Dr. Joseph Jemsek can no longer practice medicine in North Carolina simply because he gave antibiotics to chronic Lyme sufferers. He was then sued by Blue Cross Blue Shield for 100 million dollars, causing him to file bankruptcy.
It should be noted that not all doctors recommend antibiotics. Some alternative health practitioners prefer an herbal line of antimicrobials called NutraMedix, as well as a long regimen of other natural remedies.