Here is my go-to list of research, articles, and books about the impacts of Tick-borne disease on adults and congenitally infected children. But, first, let’s start with an overview.
What You Should Know About Tick-borne Disease
- Most people refer to the disease as Lyme Disease. Lyme disease is caused by a specific bacteria called Borrelia. Tick-borne disease is more accurate due to the number of other infections that are often transmitted during a tick bite.
- Tick-borne disease is in every state. It’s not just endemic to the north-east US.
- People may experience mild to moderate forms of the disease that are usually not recognized, and often consist of neuropsychiatric or autoimmune issues. Due to the nature of these slow-growing infections, symptoms tend to slowly increase over years and decades. This is considered a stealth form of a chronic infection.
- Only a small subset of people develop severe pain or chronic fatigue.
- Doctors, including infectious disease doctors, do not understand the milder forms of the disease, are not trained on the latest findings, nor do they screen for it regularly.
- Because doctors receive little medical training on the current findings of Tick-borne disease and the CDC has not kept current on it, a Lyme specialist is required to diagnose and treat.
- You can be infected in three ways:
- A tick or other vector bite. Note: most people have no knowledge they were bitten
- During sexual activity with a partner
- Or, to a fetus during pregnancy
- A small number of people develop a rash, but most do not.
- The infections can be difficult to diagnose because standard testing isn’t sensitive enough to detect most infections. Lyme specialists use more accurate testing from specialty labs, but frequently must rely on a clinical diagnosis based on symptoms.
- There are fifteen possible infections that can be passed by a tick or other vector bite including Bartonella, Babesia, Borrelia, Rocky Mountain Spotted Fever, Ehrlichia, and Anaplasma. In a study conducted by LymeDisease.org, people were infected with three or more infections in 50% of the cases, and four or more infections in 33% of the cases. This is referred to as Lyme and coinfections, or more simply, Tick-borne disease.
- Coinfections such as Bartonella can cause the majority of symptoms in a person. Borrelia (Lyme) does not cause many symptoms. The severity of symptoms can increase significantly when multiple infections are present.
- Bartonella is known to cause the majority of neuropsychiatric symptoms and many autoimmune diseases.
- You’ll see in the following section, there is a long list of possible symptoms with this disease, due to the the specific infections you have, genetics, and where the infections take hold in your body. Research is growing every month on the connection of tick-borne disease and the symptoms below.
- Doctors must screen for all possible infections, not just Borrelia (Lyme).
- Other vectors that feed on blood can transmit these infections including ticks, fleas, mites, and possibly mosquitos. Sometimes, you’ll see this referred to as Vector-borne disease. Bartonella can also be transmitted through an animal scratch such as a cat, known as Cat Scratch Fever.