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 Lyme Seminar
 
On October 11, 2017, Professor Holly Ahern enlightened a captivated crowd of more than 80 Club members and guests.  She started the evening with a Lyme quiz, which was no match for our Lyme savvy crowd.  Test your own Lyme literacy by visiting the Lyme Action Network website:  http://www.lymeactionnetwork.org/resources/helpful-links/
While there, you can find a reprint of Dr. Richard Horowitz’s MSIDS questionnaire. This questionnaire has been validated for accuracy and is a good preliminary screening tool if you suspect that you might have a tick borne-illness. 
http://www.lymeactionnetwork.org/wp-content/uploads/2016/07/hq.pdf
In addition to the important factual information (that you can glean from the website), those present were treated to an impassioned first-hand account of a microbiologist in her fight to save her daughter from Lyme.  We also had a glimpse of the sad history as to why we are currently experiencing this underestimated medical plague.

There were several take-aways from this event:
1. There is no season when you are 100% safe from ticks. You are possibly safe if it is very cold and you are walking on snow, but the ticks do not freeze, and become active when the temperature is above freezing.
2.  Lyme is often misdiagnosed as fibromyalgia, chronic fatigue, depression, mental illness, lupus, multiple sclerosis, autism, Alzheimers, and many other ailments. The frequency of misdiagnosis is extremely high. BE aware of this for yourself and your family members.
3.  The diagnostic tests for Lyme disease are very unreliable.  The likelihood for a false negative result is about 50%.  The chances of a false positive are miniscule.
4. Ticks are ingenious at hiding on our bodies. Most people never see the tick that bit them.  They inject their prey with an anesthetic so you never feel them bite.  
5.  Ticks can hitch a ride into the house on pets.  Think twice before you let your pets sleep in bed with you.
6.  Prevention is paramount.  Treat your clothing with permethrin and use bug repellent. Do tick checks when you come in, take a hot shower, and throw your clothing in the dryer on hot for 10 minutes to kill any ticks.

Additionally: Drexel University has issued a call for ticks!  Researchers developing means by which diseases can be more readily identified need ticks for their research.  If you find an unattached tick anywhere please place tick(s) in a small ZiplocTM bag with a moist cotton ball, paper towel or blade of grass and send to:
Carol Hope
Center for Advanced Microbial Processing Drexel University
New College Building
245 N. 15th St, Rm 17113
Philadelphia, PA 19101 

If you remove an attached tick from your skin, go to https://www.tickreport.com/ for instructions about submitting a tick to determine which pathogens it was carrying.

 If you have more questions or concerns regarding Lyme, please feel free to contact Nancy at Wilson Sewartzy@gmail