One of many Lyme-related, broad scale commonalities in the Northern Rockies is that if and when Lyme disease is reported on, it is most often accompanied by the declaimer that Lyme is not present or not a concern in the region. It is often stated that people should be careful of other tick born illnesses, or careful of Lyme when they travel.
This commonality stems from a larger, more dangerous, and more problematic commonality: the assertion by states, provinces, and relevant agencies that Lyme disease is not present. This remains the case despite positive cases contracted in the region. Even when these cases are followed up with phone calls from health agencies, patients are consistently reporting that their cases still somehow do not make it onto the map, and their areas remain unacknowledged (view our recent post regarding the Bitterroot study for a recent exception).
Continue reading Spring 2015 Northern Rockies ‘tick season’ media coverage ~ patients still note room for improvement
Many Montanans know that contracting Lyme in Montana is rare but possible. Either through knowledge of pathogens and vectors, disease ecology, or personal experience with Lyme disease.
I am quite ‘biased’ on the matter, having contracted Lyme disease. Multiple patients, some of whom have shared their stories here (with multiple more ready and willing to share with media to raise awareness) share this bias and this experience.
This study examines self reported cases — a beginning step patients feel should be taken by state health agencies immediately.
Concluding their study, the team recommends: 1. establishing a statewide tick surveillance program to discover what ticks reside in Montana and what pathological agents they carry; 2. assuring that state-of-the-art two tier testing for Lyme disease is available and that healthcare providers know of it; 3. encouraging health-care providers to include Lyme disease in the differential diagnosis of the patient with symptoms of the disorder; and 4. participation in meaningful and related research.