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4 things to know about ticks and Lyme

May 15, 2018

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photo of Claire McCarthy, MD

Claire McCarthy, MD, Senior Faculty Editor, Harvard Health Publishing

Claire McCarthy, MD, is a primary care pediatrician at Boston Children’s Hospital, and an assistant professor of pediatrics at Harvard Medical School. In addition to being a senior faculty editor for Harvard Health Publishing, Dr. McCarthy … See Full Bio
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Deb Lyme Mom
May 21, 2018

Powassen virus can be transmitted from an attached tick in just 15 minutes. The longer a tick is attached, and depending on how well it is taken off, both influence the chance of infection. Luckily most areas have tick rate infections of less than 30%. That is what is most in our favor when we get a bite. Do not be as relaxed as this article leads you to believe you can be. Lives are being ruined because most doctors are ignorant of the treatments and the protocols and will not test unless you have a target rash, which is stupid, because a target rash is absolutely diagnostic – no test needed.

B. Kim
May 20, 2018

If you find a tick on your body, you can send it to the UMass Laboratory of Medical Zoology. Their website is Some towns (mine included) subsidize the cost which was 15.00. Directions for handling and submitting the tick are on their website. They will confirm the type of tick and test results for Lyme and other tick diseases. Quick and worth it!

May 15, 2018

Prevention indeed is key, in fact there really are no other keys. If you get Lyme disease, your MD won’t test you for it unless the tick is still embedded in your skin and a large rash appears encircling the tick that spells out LYME in big red letters.
Even then, the test will come back negative unless you have a hypersensitivity to outer surface protein A, so you won’t get treated and the disease will spend years slowly ravaging your body. Even if you win the lottery, and are tested, and test positive, the MD won’t treat you long enough or with the right medications. Doxycycline, the standard choice, has been shown by Johns Hopkins to simply convert the germ into a different, more resilient form of the organism called persister cells.
So you’ll feel ok for a few weeks, deemed “cured” by your MD, but slowly get sicker and sicker, as the disease starts round 2, which is now called “Post Treatment Lyme Disease Syndrome” by MDs since they have to call it something to get a billing code. This illness, PTLDS, looks and behaves exactly like Lyme Disease and even reacts to antibiotics in the same fashion, but apparently its actually a mass delusion many cured Lyme patients seem to exhibit. MDs still don’t know why most Lyme patients pretend to have Lyme disease after they’ve been cured, but hopefully one day modern science will figure out how a mass delusion in so many heterogeneous patients across the country is indistinguishable to the original disease. If I didn’t know better, I’d think they were still sick from Lyme disease. Call me crazy, I know! Ha ha ha

Chris Fuentes
May 15, 2018

Thanks for a great summary on the serious threat of tick-borne diseases and how to prevent being bitten. We launched Ranger Ready Repellents because we live at the epicenter of T-B-D’s. The CDC recommends using an EPA-registered repellent with at least 20% of an active ingredient such as Picaridin 20% found in Ranger Ready. It provides 12 hour tick and mosquito protection without the harmful side effects of DEET. Chris Fuentes Founder | Co-Inventor, Ranger Ready Repellents, South Norwalk, CT.

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