Lyme disease vaccine on the way – if only the anti-vaxxers stay away

Lyme disease vaccine

Over the past decade, Lyme disease has spread from its traditional confines of the northeast USA to throughout the country. Even though dogs have access to a Lyme disease vaccine, there have not been any available for humans for 18 years. But that’s about to change.

Vaccine manufacturers do not value dogs more than humans for this vaccine. In reality, the blame for why there isn’t a Lyme disease vaccine for children can be placed right where some of you expect it to be – loud-mouthed anti-vaxxers without any scientific evidence supporting their hatred of the vaccine.

Of course, this happened in the mid-1990s, and the internet was in its infancy. But there were people pushing the same narrative that we hear about the cancer preventing HPV vaccine – that the Lyme vaccine was actually worse than the disease itself. They made these claims based on bad or no evidence.

But a new lyme disease vaccine might be on its way fairly soon. This is good news.

Continue reading “Lyme disease vaccine on the way – if only the anti-vaxxers stay away”

Lyme disease vaccine – good for dogs but not for humans

Lyme disease vaccine

If you go to your veterinarian to get the Lyme disease vaccine for your dog, just make an appointment and your dog will be vaccinated against this serious disease. If you go to your pediatrician to get the Lyme disease vaccine for your children, give up now. It’s simply not available.

Is it because Lyme disease is more serious to your dog than your children? Nope. Is it because Big Pharma makes more money from dogs than humans? No. Is it because the Lyme disease vaccine is safer for a dog than in a human? Not really.

Enough with the guessing game. The blame for why there isn’t a Lyme disease vaccine for children can be placed right where some of you expect it to be – anti-vaccine activists. This was in the mid-1990s, and the internet was barely usable without Google to help us, but there were people pushing the same narrative that we hear about the cancer preventing HPV vaccine – the Lyme vaccine was worse than the disease. Let’s take time to look at this story.

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Chronic Lyme disease – is there any scientific evidence supporting it?

chronic lyme disease

Chronic Lyme disease (CLD) is a generally unrecognized medical diagnosis that contains a broad number of disorders or symptoms that are supposedly related to a Lyme disease infection. There is no reproducible or convincing scientific evidence of any relationship between the symptoms and Lyme disease. There is no evidence that chronic Lyme disease is caused by a persistent Lyme disease infection. In fact, there’s little evidence that CLD “patients” ever had Lyme disease itself.

Despite this lack of scientific, medical and clinical evidence, a whole cottage industry has arisen to promote the myth of chronic Lyme disease along with selling expensive treatments that have shown little or no clinical efficacy. Furthermore, a whole activist movement that argues that CLD is a real disease, and they can be a vociferous and radical as your every day anti-vaccine activist. In fact, a lot of the arguments are similar between the CLD and anti-vaccine groups – over reliance on anecdotes, cherry picking scientific articles, and claims of some sort of conspiracy.

But we’re going to ignore all of that. This article will take a look at the best scientific evidence that has examined the claims about chronic Lyme disease. Because the only thing that matters is scientific evidence.

 

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Poll – dog comments on Andrew Wakefield

Once again, let’s talk about  MrAndy Wakefield, one of the greatest frauds in medicine over the last 100 years. I’m not exaggerating, he really is considered that.

Lately we’ve had to put up with his anti-vaccine lunacy with his fraudumentary, Vaxxed, which is out in theaters even now. In the “documentary” (scare quotes intentional), Wakefield rehashes his same old misinformation, ignorance, and utter nonsense.

I do try to ignore him, like I ignore that Australian expatriate, Ken Ham, who is wasting American taxpayer money to build a temple to that biblical myth that has all of the scientific basis of, well Wakefield’s claims. But sometimes Wakefield just keeps coming, without muzzling his mouth.

The latest is the photo below that’s hitting the interwebs. The picture includes a sad looking dog, possibly a German Shepherd (but I am not a dog expert – I’m a cat person), sitting next to Mr. Wakefield.

Wakefield is holding a couple of hand written signs that say, ” My name is Tex. I was injured by vaccines.”

dog comments on Andrew Wakefield
I don’t think that’s what the dog was thinking.

 

There’s an old saying about a person – you can judge a person’s character by how they treat children and animals. Wakefield’s treatment of children is well known – he committed a fraud to profit from trial lawyers and his own patented measles vaccine. And that fraud lead to massive measles outbreaks, and permanent injury to children. So, he fails miserably on the “treating of children.”

Now he’s trying to do the same for our pets? Dogs are protected from some serious diseases because of vaccines and other preventative medicines. Rabies. Distemper. Parvovirus. Bordetella. Hepatitis. Lyme disease. And many more.

Not only are these diseases dangerous to our dogs, they can be passed to us. Rabies is a horrible disease, and if a dog contracts it, they may have to be euthanized. And if that rabid dog bites a child, they have to endure a very painful series of vaccines.

No, rabies cannot be prevented by a gluten free, organic diet for your dog. They are bitten by some rabid animal because, well, dogs are curious, and can be bitten by a bat, raccoon, wild cat, and who knows what else – and once bitten, the disease transfers to them.

And, we can only conclude that Wakefield also fails on the “how he treats dogs” category.

If dogs could talk, I wonder what the dog comments on Andrew Wakefield would be. Here’s a poll of what I believe the dog thinks about Andrew Wakefield. Choose your favorite. Or reply in the comments with a better one. I love that!

Gardasil DNA and aluminum – myth debunking time

Gardasil DNA and aluminum

Here we go again. Anti-Gardasil activists and other vaccine deniers are attempting, once again, to make specious claims about the HPV anti-cancer vaccine. This time claiming that Gardasil DNA and aluminum somehow interacted to kill a young child.

This time, it’s a claim filed in United States Court of Federal Claims Office of Special Masters, as a part of the National Vaccine Injury Compensation Program (NVICP), that an injection of the Gardasil vaccine lead to the death of a young male the next day.

As tragic as that death is, and all children’s deaths are tragic, let’s take a look at the evidence being used here. Of course, I’m not a Special Master in the Federal Court System (admittedly, I want that title), I’m not an attorney (nor do I pretend to be one on the internet), and the NVICP has some complex rules and decisions processes. It’s never simple, and remember, the NVICP, or any court for that matter,  lacks the privilege of deciding what is good science.  Continue reading “Gardasil DNA and aluminum – myth debunking time”

Chronic Lyme disease myth – reviewing the evidence

Chronic lyme disease myth

Editor’s note – this article has been substantially updated and republished here. Please read and comment there. Thanks.

Lyme disease is an infectious disease caused by at least three species of bacteria belonging to the genus Borrelia. Of the three species, Borrelia burgdorferi is the main cause of Lyme disease in North America, whereas Borrelia afzelii and Borrelia garinii are more prevalent in Europe. The disease is named after the towns of Lyme and Old Lyme, Connecticut, where a number of cases were initially identified in 1975.

Borrelia is transmitted to humans when bitten by infected ticks belonging to a few species of the genus Ixodes, called “hard bodied” ticks. Although deer ticks, Ixodes scapularis, Ixodes pacificus, or Ixodes ricinus, are commonly considered to be the vectors for Borrelia infection, some of the other species in the Ixodes genus can transmit the disease. Lyme disease is the most common tick-borne disease in the United States.

The initial symptoms of Lyme disease include feverheadachefatiguedepression, and a circular skin rash called erythema migrans (EM). If the Borrelia infection is not treated quickly, later symptoms may involve the joints, heart, and central nervous system. There is generally only one known treatment for the infection–antibiotics including doxycyclineamoxicillin, and cefuroxime. The symptoms usually disappear after antibiotic treatment.

From this rather straightforward disease, a whole cottage industry has arisen around the chronic Lyme disease myth – it claims that the Lyme disease is never really killed and it persists for months or years.

Continue reading “Chronic Lyme disease myth – reviewing the evidence”

Chronic Lyme disease–myth or science?

This article has been substantially updated and re-published. Please view that article and comment there.

Lyme disease is an infectious disease caused by at least three species of bacteria belonging to the genus Borrelia. Of the three species, Borrelia burgdorferi is the main cause of Lyme disease in North America, whereas Borrelia afzelii and Borrelia garinii are more prevalent in Europe. The disease is named after the towns of Lyme and Old Lyme, Connecticut, where a number of cases were initially identified in 1975.

Borrelia is transmitted to humans when bitten by infected ticks belonging to a few species of the genus Ixodes, called “hard bodied” ticks. Although deer ticks, Ixodes scapularis, Ixodes pacificus, or Ixodes ricinus, are commonly considered to be the vectors for Borrelia infection, some of the other Ixodes species can transmit the disease.

The initial symptoms of Lyme disease include feverheadachefatiguedepression, and a circular skin rash called erythema migrans (EM). If the Borrelia infection is not treated quickly, later symptoms may involve the joints, heart, and central nervous system. In general, the infection and its symptoms can be treated, if started early, by antibiotics. Lyme disease is the most common tick-borne disease in the United States.

Continue reading “Chronic Lyme disease–myth or science?”