Almost 40 percent of ticks that the University of Maine Tick Lab tested in 2019 were carrying Lyme disease. That number makes the news of a possible vaccine something we can all get excited about. And while Lyme isn’t as big a problem in St. Louis as it is in New England, it is a growing problem.
Life with Lyme
Lyme disease is a debilitating illness that can be hard to recover from. WTHR NBC news gives us a little insight of what Lyme disease can do to a family. The Marlowe family suffered as an entire family from what they believe to be an encounter with a tick bite. At one point, thirteen-year-old Jamie could barely walk. Both his mother and sister have had several different co-infections that followed Lyme. The family is seeing specialists in and out of their home state. Treatment like this can uproot an entire life.
The CDC points out that some symptoms of Lyme, such as muscle and joint pain, inflammation of the brain and spinal cord, and nerve pain, can appear months after a tick bite. The Center also confirms that testing for Lyme can be complicated because tests look for antibodies in the system. These antibodies can take several weeks to develop, and symptoms of Lyme disease are relatively general and often mimic other issues, so testing is difficult. The best thing we could do is to stop the infection before it starts.
A New Approach for Fighting Lyme Disease
There is a vaccine being developed by the French company, Valneva. The FDA has put it on the fast track, but even then, the reality of it is still four to five years away.
Here comes the exciting news. There is what looks to be a faster option.
The University of Massachusetts Medical School is developing a single-injection vaccine for Lyme disease. This vaccine would be administered yearly, similar to the flu shot. Dr. Mark Klempner, a professor at U of M, and executive vice chancellor for Massachusetts Biologics explains that this shot prevents one from ever being exposed to the bacteria that causes Lyme.
The injection, Lyme PrEP, actually kills the bacteria in the belly of the tick, never allowing it to transmit via the tick bite wound. Isn’t science interesting? The other great thing about this shot is that it is effective immediately, the very same day. Human trials begin this summer.
We Still Have to Focus on Eliminating Ticks
This is excellent progress in the fight against Lyme disease, but ticks are already out. The widespread availability of Lyme PrEP is two years away. Mosquito Squad of West St. Louis County has a solution that is immediate as well, our barrier treatment combined with tick tubes.
Our barrier treatment eliminates up to 90% of existing adult ticks on contact. It continues to work for up to three weeks. Our tick tube system eliminates larval and nymph ticks in rodent dens, to keep them from ever emerging to spread Lyme disease. Being able to eliminate the bacteria that causes Lyme disease is a wonderful breakthrough but eliminating the ticks that bite and carry the bacteria is available now. Mosquito Squad does that. Call us today to get a free quote.