Lyme Disease More Prevalent In NC

For years, doctors have said that people were unlikely to get Lyme disease in North Carolina. But that attitude is changing after the tick-borne disease was diagnosed this year in at least four patients who never left their home counties.

The News & Observer of Raleigh reported Thursday that the state epidemiologist, Dr. Megan Davies, is getting word to doctors, who have been reluctant to even test patients for Lyme disease. Davies says she and others are meeting with infectious disease doctors at state medical schools to spread the word.

Lyme bacteria is carried on the black-legged tick, which appeared to feed on reptiles rather than mammals in Southern states. So it was considered unlikely that ticks would transmit the Lyme bacteria to humans in North Carolina.


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  • by G. Cox Location: Washington, NC on Oct 2, 2009 at 08:26 AM
    After suffering 19 years, going from Dr.to Dr, it wasn't until I was diagnosed by a Dr.at Duke. I had all the classic symptoms of Lyme disease. I was highly positive,on all my immune bands and reported to the CDC as a statisic. Over the years, I saw over 40 doctors and they are clueless on Lyme disease. An Infection Disease Dr.in Greenville with ECU told me "Lyme disease does not exsist in NC" I cannnot believe the ignorance of some of the drs. They will prescribe antibiotic to a teenager for acne, but will not prescibe antibiotics for a Lyme patient. My health, immune system, nervous system destroyed and now long term antibiotic does not even help me. The damage from Lyme is horrendous, I battle for my life everyday and have tried every treatment, medical and alternative to keep going. Take a tick bite seriously, this area is highly populated with TICKS.I am a walking miracle and the doctors have not saved me,it has been my research, my determination and education,to stay alive.
  • by Jeff Location: Winterville on Oct 2, 2009 at 04:49 AM
    Take it easy on Physician. I'm sure he deals with all types of people. He's the expert. He will give you his expert opinion. You always have the right to get a second opinion from the expert.
  • by Barbara on Oct 1, 2009 at 07:21 PM
    To Physian....me again....if this helps you digest LD on a more serious note. This New Jersey treatment center told me that their center wanted very badly to put a treatment center on our "OUTER BANKS"...that pretty much sums it up...and it was almost 13 years ago to boot. Thanks again for saying patients are ignorant... This makes all that have commented here feel REAL special !!!! Have an appalling day !
  • by Barbara Location: Columbia on Oct 1, 2009 at 06:10 PM
    To physian coming to the aide of your fellow physians, I can understand your point. Until you find the tick embedded on you, and 6 hours later you have a huge bulls eye rash. I SAW THIS TICK. Three weeks later I had fevers, and horrible rash. For years while I was sick I researched. My very first test was positive...but they told me they would take it for negative. My doctor gave me doxycycline meds of choice for early stage lyme, but she also put me on prednizone....Bad move say the NJ doctors. My home town physician did not know any better, in fact doing the best she could do with me. It's the 4 "infectionous disease specialist" I went to out of the 17 doctors here in NC, that should have helped me. I will always blame them. They looked at me like I was an idiot. Out of the 47 syptoms of lyme, I had 36 of them. So no Mr. Physian sometimes people aren't hypocondriacts...they have every classic syptom, and then some. People go to NJ...they don't treat you like you've lost your min.
  • by Lynn Location: Greenville on Oct 1, 2009 at 05:21 PM
    I was infected with LD over 15 years ago in eastern NC. There was an attached tick and a bull's eye rash, with a plethora of symptoms. I was misdiagnosed with chronic fatigue syndrome and fibromyalgia. Not until I became infected a second time (again with a visible tick and rash) in eastern South Carolina did I finally get the correct diagnosis and effective treatment. Dr. Joe Jemsek saved my life. To the "Physician," your arrogance and ignorance are appalling. Someone with such disdain for sick people has no business "practicing" medicine. I urge you to consider all the research on the subject. Even the CDC estimates that only 10% of Lyme cases are diagnosed. Diagnosis and treatment of this disease have been highly politicized, to the detriment of those who suffer in every way and the doctors who try to help, despite the risks to their reputations and their livelihoods.
  • by To Physician Location: Greenville on Oct 1, 2009 at 02:10 PM
    Most patients that have Chronic Lymes disease end up going to at least 10 to 15 doctors before being diagnosed. I would like to know what practice you work for so that I can make sure that I never become a patient. Your arrogance and lack of sensitivity from your post makes me wonder if you treat your patients that way face to face.
  • by Stacey Pippin Location: Williamston on Oct 1, 2009 at 01:02 PM
    Knowledge is power. Do any and as much research as you can. Lymes disease has been in NC for years. Chronic Lymes disease is much more difficult to treat. The cdc does not recognize chronic lymes so most drs. are reserved at long term antibotic use. My wife had it and we had to travel to charlotenc for treatment every 2 weeks as well as at home iv thearpy. Hard to find this dr. he has since moved to sc since nc medical board did not like the way he treated patients. We had great success. Dr. Joseph Jemsec. Look him up. Very costly Most insurance will balk at the long term tretment. It saved my wife and our life together. The key is early treatment before it crosses over into the csf. Lymes disease is often misdiagnosed because the symptoms very so much. Joint pain headachec severe fatigue. I could go own. RESEARCH RESEARCH RESEARCH!!! Dont take what one dr. tells you as the final answer.
  • by Having issues... Location: Eastern NC on Oct 1, 2009 at 11:24 AM
    Ok, a few months ago I removed a tick from my head. The bite looked horrible and swelled all up. Well, I went to my dr. and was tested. 1st test was an IGM (?) test which was inconclusive (not negative not positive but in the middle). They western blot came back showing some positive and some negative so it was said I didn't have it. For precautionary reasons, he started me immediately on a months worth of antibiotics while waiting on tests. My dr. started treatment early and I am so thankful. I am now having horrible headaches and the bite swelled back up. The IGM test this time came back positive and higher went from like a .93 to 1.36. Western blot was negative. I am so tired and my head hurts so bad all the time. Because the test was negative not being treated anymore. I wish I could find out more information on this. I don't want this but wonder what I do have to make my head hurt so bad so often. I would appreciate any ideas Physician if you have them on where I can do research
  • by Nurse Location: Greenville on Oct 1, 2009 at 11:20 AM
    I personally, am very excited to see this article today. I have been sick for over 18 months and tested positive for acute Lyme's 19 months ago. Unfortuately, I was not given the appropriate treatment for acute Lyme and have been sick, on and off, ever since. I am not a doctor but I do have medical background and have done alot of research on this terrible disease. The CDC requires certain criteria be met for you to be considered to have chronic Lyme's. I have been in contact with many people, who have been in my shoes with the same lab results, that were eventually diagnosed and treated. It is true there are not alot of Dr's who "specialize" in Lyme's Disease in NC, but they can test you, if they feel your symptoms are appropriate. The problem is that if you don't see the classic bullseye rash, and are not treated at all, or not treated with the correct dose, you may start having very vague symptoms that could be symptoms of many diseases. I am hopeful for Dx and Tx soon.
  • by Physician on Oct 1, 2009 at 10:14 AM
    The ignorance on this website is appalling. NC doctors are not stripped of their license for treating it or testing for it. As an NC physician, I can test and treat for whatever conditions are fit. Ignorance on the part of the physicians is not a fair or accurate assessment. When the tick that causes the disease is not located in NC and your patient hasn't traveled, there is no need for testing. Every practicing physician also knows that every patient who comes in the door with any sort of insect bite is convinced that it MUST be a spider bite or a tick bite. No tick or spider seen or removed of course, but they are convinced. And of course, everyone wants to be tested for Lyme disease (which until now wasn't seen in this state). Oh, and don't forget...test me for black widow spider bite and brown recluse to (which there are no tests for). Patient ignorance is appalling to us. As are unrealistic demands.
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