You might think after more than 40 years of research scientists would know most of what there is to know about any disease. In the case of Lyme Disease, researchers still know very little. A Los Angeles Times article from November 2013, The Lyme Disease battle, reported that the CDC realized only weeks earlier it had been understating the number of Lyme Disease cases in the US by 1000% – yes that’s 4 digits. Their previous estimate on the number of cases in the US was changed from 30,000 to 300,000.
Neither the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases nor the CDC recognizes the diagnosis of chronic Lyme Disease. The battle to recognize this chronic condition goes on for the thousands of people who suffer the symptoms of chronic Lyme Disease. Without further research, our knowledge of this disease will be based on opinions and anecdotal evidence.
May is Lyme Disease Awareness Month. First discovered in the US in the early 1970’s scientists did not make the connection between the disease and ticks until early 1981. The first cases of Lyme were identified in Lyme, Connecticut where it got its name. Willy Burgdorfer, Ph.D. at the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases wondered whether the European rash, called erythema migrans and Lyme Disease might have the same cause.
In order to further the research on Lyme Disease, we want to let the residents of Danbury CT and Western CT know how they can help. The Western Connecticut Health Network Lyme Disease Registry is now conducting tick research at Danbury Hospital. It is the first hospital-based Lyme disease registry in the nation to focus multidisciplinary research on the impact of Lyme disease. The Network’s web page states, “The Western Connecticut Health Network Lyme Disease Registry is not a treatment option. It is a gathering of information to understand the mysteries of this devastating disease. The Western Connecticut Health Network Lyme Disease Registry is a landmark research project that may help explain the complex aspects of this poorly understood disease.” Since Lyme Disease is endemic in Fairfield County, it is appropriate that community-based research is conducted here.
Mosquito Squad of Northern Westchester, Putnam & Dutchess County wants you to know how to participate in this research. Our hope is the research being conducted in Danbury will eradicate this often misdiagnosed and poorly understood tick disease.
We know that every resident of Western CT and worldwide wants this research to succeed. We know that victims of Lyme Disease often have chronic fatigue and joint pain for years if the disease is misdiagnosed and treatment is delayed. By conducting community-based research with a multi-disciplinary approach, we believe we will soon learn more about the treatment of this potentially debilitating disease. Danbury CT residents should be proud to have this tick research based in their community.
As with any disease, prevention and reducing your exposure to it should be your first choice. While research continues, we will continue to offer our effective perimeter sprays to eliminate ticks around homes in our area.