Posts tagged ‘tick treatment’

July 7, 2014

Can Lyme Disease Be Transmitted Sexually?

Male and female symbolYou may have heard some discussion lately on the sexual transmission of Lyme Disease.  If you haven’t heard it, you will.  Combine sex with the word disease and you immediately have two subjects in which nearly 100% of the people on earth will be interested.  If advertisers love any news, it is news about subjects that touch people personally.  Sex and disease both fit that criterion.

So what’s the latest information on this subject?  Much of the news is old news.  At the 14th International Scientific Conference on Lyme Disease in April 2001, Dr. Gregory Back presented a paper on “Recovery of Lyme Spirochetes by PCR in Semen Samples of Previously Diagnosed Lyme Disease Patients”.  The first thing to understand about this paper is that 40% of the 132 partners studied (66 couples) were both found to be infected with Lyme Disease.  Lyme Disease, Science and Society looked at this research and after examining the evidence of this early study stated:

There are unanswered questions about this study based on the abstract: We don’t know what kind of microscopic confirmation was conducted and why it was mostly conducted on semen.  We don’t know if patients had other possible routes of exposure to spirochetes.  We don’t know if the DNA sequences recovered matched between sexual partners.  We don’t know whether any of the patients who were sampled had recently taken antibiotics and if the spirochetal DNA that was detected was the result of their bodies trying to purge a massive die-off of spirochetes.  What kind of treatment patients in the study had received so far is an unknown.

Deer tick awaiting a host in Rockville MDAs you can see, the individuals in the study were not tested prior to finding a Lyme infection, in order to establish when the infection occurred.  There was also no evidence of actual transmission or research into the exact origin of the partner’s infection, only evidence that both partners had Lyme Disease.  Since partners live in the same environment, it’s very possible that one partner didn’t remember being bitten by a tick.  Nymph ticks are the size of a poppy-seed and difficult to detect.  Due to their small size, they are often not found by their human host unless seen fully engorged with blood.  Simply stated, it’s a leap to identify two related patients and make a leap that one gave the other any disease.  For example, if a husband has the flu, his wife may think he gave it to her.  In fact, she may have gotten it from someone at work.  Infectious diseases in the real world don’t always neatly move in the direction we expect.

Other studies claim that the spirochetes of syphilis and those of Lyme Disease are similar.  While it’s true they are similar, they do not share the same environmental preferences.  Lyme spirochetes don’t survive very long on the surface of the skin.  However, syphilis spirochetes do very well in moist superficial skin lesions.

If detected during pregnancy, Lyme Disease can be easily treated in the mother with antibiotics that do not harm the fetus.  The CDC says, “Untreated Lyme disease during pregnancy may lead to infection of the placenta and possible stillbirth.”  Lymediseaseassociation.org says, “The bacteria can also be passed through the placenta of a pregnant woman to the fetus—congenital transmission.”  Since a Lyme infection occurs through the blood, it makes sense a fetus can become infected.

When considering breast milk in mothers, the DNA of Lyme Disease has been found.  This does not mean it has been proven that a newborn can get Lyme Disease through breast milk, only that evidence of the disease is present in the milk.  There have not been any cases linking breast milk in the transmission of Lyme Disease.

Researchers know that the Lyme bacteria can survive blood bank storage conditions.  Once again, there have been no suspected cases of Lyme transmission through blood transfusions.  However, animal studies do show that Lyme bacteria can be transmitted through blood transfusions in mice.

EngorgedFemaleDeerTicks

The CDC does not consider the transmission of Lyme Disease through sexual intimacy very likely.  As mentioned earlier, there is anecdotal evidence of possible sexual transmission but much more research needs to be done.  There are already enough sexually transmitted diseases for everyone to be concerned about transmitting to their sexual partners, without knowing if Lyme Disease is one of them.  Taking precautions regarding any infection someone may have, on behalf of sexual partners, should be common sense behavior.

tick_habitatScientists know that it generally takes 24-36 hours before a tick can transmit Lyme Disease through its bite.  Therefore, even with a tick carrying Lyme Disease, it takes some time for the infection to be transmitted.  Once established a Lyme infection can be long-lasting.  Even after successful treatment and test results showing no Lyme Disease is present, Lyme spirochetes, B. burgdorferi, can be present in small numbers in patients for years.  Until further research is done, it only seems prudent to be safe until a physician confirms a Lyme infection no longer exists.

Contact Mosquito Squad of West Montgomery  to learn more about protecting yourself and your family from the risks of tick-borne illnesses such as Lyme Disease in your backyard! Sign up today • (301) 444-5566 • email:westmontco@mosquitosquad.com

 

 

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April 23, 2010

Maryland-Coming to a Backyard Near You!

Remember the mosquitoes last year? Did you feel that you just couldn’t go outside to garden, do yard work or let your kids out to play in the back yard? Well this year if you are in Montgomery County, Frederick County or Washington County, you are in luck! Mosquito Squad is coming to a backyard near you!

Service is available for individual spray treatments, special events, or seasonal coverage. There are traditional and organic options to choose from. In addition, tick control is offered through sprays and supplemental tick treatments to protect you from contracting Lyme in your outdoor living area.

The Grand Opening of Mosquito Squad of West Montgomery is May 3rd.  Call 301-444-5566 for schedule and pricing.

February 25, 2010

Phantom in the Woods

The incidence of Lyme is increasing in number and spreading well beyond the original location of Lyme, Connecticut. Awareness has also been increasing and spreading. In our area of Metro Washington, DC it has gotten to the point that everyone either has it, has had it, or has a family member, friend, neighbor or dog who has Lyme Disease or has had it. It is the Mockingbird of diseases. The way it presents itself, when it does (there are people who get Lyme and seem non-symptomatic for years) is so varied that people are sent to psychologists, orthopedists, neurologists, cardiologists, and  dermatologists to give a partial list. Fatigue, joint pain, rash, mood disorders…any one or combination of symptoms may present. The lucky ones are those who have the “classic” bull’s eye rash along with flu-like symptoms. I say lucky, because they are the ones who get the right treatment right away. I put the word classic in quotes because, though it is considered classic, it presents in a small minority of cases.

Lyme is a fact and it’s here to stay. Unfortunately, this gives parents more reason to fear letting our kids play outside. I remember once a few years ago talking to a mom who was afraid to let her kids play in a wooded area next to their home. We hold an image of the woods as being a dangerous place with the big bad wolf or strangers lurking. Theoretically, the woods next to your home should be a wonderful, magical, educational and healthy choice of environments for children to play, explore, and learn in, lest they develop “Nature Deficit Disorder” as coined by Richard Louv, author of Last Child in the Woods.

The reality is that there is some thing big and bad in the woods. Like a phantom, it is there, and BEWARE, it’s not just in the woods. It’s on the Mall in Washington, DC, it’s in the school yards and sports fields, and it’s in our back yards. What are we supposed to do? Lock your kids inside? Give up gardening? Last summer, I chose to reclaim my back yard and like I said in a previous post, I was so happy to be able to have my kids outside that I decided to become part of the company. What are you going to do about it? Click here to learn more about Lyme.

For treatment options click here.

Thanks for reading,

Susan

Mosquito Squad of West Montgomery