Expert shares facts on Lyme disease, St. Petersburg Times, 13 May 01 
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 Expert shares facts on Lyme disease, St. Petersburg Times, 13 May 01

Expert shares facts on Lyme disease

Lucy Barnes has taken on Lyme disease,
educating the public about how to avoid it
and how to recognize and treat symptoms.

By Times staff writer

St. Petersburg Times, published May 13, 2001

May is Lyme Disease Month. Fl{*filter*}City resident Lucy
Barnes has been active in Lyme disease education since
1987, developing and presenting slide programs and lectures
for the public, private organizations and medical personnel.
She has written a number of articles and papers dealing with
Lyme disease prevention, the symptoms, various treatments
and related material.

Additionally, she has been assisting individuals who are
fighting the chronic effects of the disease. Barnes shared
some information with Citrus Times staff writer Mary Ann

QUESTION: What is Lyme disease and who is at risk?

ANSWER: Lyme disease is caused by a spirochete (similar
to the one that causes syphilis and leprosy) found in ticks
and other insects and numerous wild and domestic animals.
Once transmitted to humans, the spirochete causes damage
by spreading to various parts of the body. It can infect any
and all organs and tissues in the body, causing a multitude of
symptoms that can make a person very ill, sometimes totally
disabled, and it can be fatal.

Q: Can it be transmitted from person to person?

A: The spirochete that causes Lyme disease has been found
in {*filter*}, urine, {*filter*}, {*filter*} milk and other body fluids and
tissues. Those who have Lyme disease are prohibited from
donating {*filter*} or organs. Lyme disease has also been
shown in many cases to be passed from mothers to their
unborn children and to babies through {*filter*} milk. The
spirochete can be found in the {*filter*} of deer which poses a
threat to hunters and it is recommended that anyone handling
raw venison use gloves.

Q: What are some of the signs and symptoms of the disease
and its effects?

A: Unless a doctor is very experienced with Lyme disease,
(he or she) may not recognize it until it is too late or not at
all. Lyme has been misdiagnosed as a variety of other
conditions: multiple sclerosis, chronic fatigue, Alzheimer's,
fibromyalgia and various forms of arthritis. The list of
possible symptoms is overwhelming. Everything from hearing
loss to panic attacks surfacing in otherwise healthy
individuals as the first indication of Lyme. Some patients do
not recall a tick bite and many never get the typical
bull's-eye rash or flu-like symptoms that are often associated
with early stages of Lyme. There is often brain "fog,"
memory problems, confusion, difficulty thinking and speech
difficulties. Extreme fatigue can be a constant problem, along
with muscle spasms and joint pain.

Q: Can it cause other diseases?

A: Lyme can mimic many diseases and can force the patient
to require treatment for a variety of other problems. The
thyroid responses can be thrown off and require adjunct
therapy. Other infections are hard to fight off once the
immune system is compromised. As the spirochetes inhabit
and die off in the human body, toxins develop, which can
cause a multitude of chronic problems unless treated

Q: If caught early, can the effects be minimized?

A: Outdated information indicates a tick must be attached
for at least 24 to 48 hours to infect a person. This is not the
case. If you are bitten by a tick, the old wait-and-see
approach can be devastating. Once in contact with an
infected source, the earlier the treatment the better.

Q: What type of treatment is available and how long does it

A: Treatment protocols vary depending on the amount of
time between the infection and when treatment begins.
Current guidelines indicate early cases should be treated
with antibiotics for a minimum of four to six weeks, and late
stages usually require a minimum of four to six months of
treatment, either IV or {*filter*}medications, or both. If
treatments are discontinued before all symptoms of Lyme
disease have ended, the person can remain ill and relapse.

Q: What are the long-term effects of Lyme disease?

A: Those who have developed late stage or chronic Lyme
disease can suffer from the buildup of toxins in their systems.
Patients can relapse with any and all of the original
symptoms, develop new ones and progressively deteriorate
as time goes by. Lyme disease can affect the ability to walk
or exercise. Speech, writing skills and communication
problems may worsen. Many become bedridden or house
bound. Damage to the brain and other organs can result.
The financial burden of Lyme can be devastating. Still, some
insurance companies continue to deny treatment, which
further stresses individuals and worsens their condition.

Q: What is the risk of Lyme disease in Florida?

A: Florida's very mild winter weather makes it optimal for
year-round exposure to ticks and other insects carrying
Lyme disease. The female tick can produce 2,000 to 5,000
babies. Once an area has a small tick population, the
numbers increase rapidly. Ticks are carried into new areas
by birds, pets, wildlife and people.

Q: What is the best way to prevent getting Lyme disease?

A: In Florida, it is difficult to do as folks in the north are told
to do: wear long pants, long sleeve shirts, shoes and socks
and a hat outdoors in the summer. In 90-degree weather,
that is almost impossible and could cause heat stroke or heat
exhaustion. I recommend regular tick checks while outdoors
and once returning home. I also recommend a treatment of
Repel Permanon be applied to outdoor clothing, hats,
outdoor duffel bags and equipment. This unscented product
kills ticks as they crawl across treated surfaces instead of
trying to deter them. Yards can be treated with Sevin,
available locally in a dust or concentrated liquid form. It
won't kill all of the ticks but it will reduce the numbers to a
safer level.

Expert shares facts on Lyme disease, St. Petersburg Times, 13 May 01


Thu, 30 Oct 2003 22:42:55 GMT
 Expert shares facts on Lyme disease, St. Petersburg Times, 13 May 01
Lucy Barnes is TinCup on Flash- she has written SO MANY articles and gotten so
many published- she is just great!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Thu, 30 Oct 2003 23:11:54 GMT
 [ 2 post ] 

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3. Lyme Disease Risk in Northeast Is Real, Says Expert, BWire, 13 Jun 01

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