Challenges to the 2006 Guidelines
Many critics of the 2006 Lyme treatment guidelines have long raised concerns over the initial development of these guidelines, and Connecticut Attorney General Richard Blumenthal challenged the society to answer the point that a number authors were said to have “undisclosed conflicts of interest” (thought to include financial stakes in Lyme disease related commercial industries), which could have influenced their findings.
The report released on 22 April 2010 sought to address some of these concerns and Blumenthal issued a statement assuring those concerned that his office was reviewing the findings in detail and
would determine if the IDSA had ‘fulfilled the requirements of our settlement’.Lyme Disease Association have reported that an estimated 15-20% of all Lyme victims will go on to develop a chronic
form of the disease. This may seem high when one thinks about it but when you start looking it in detail this is the approximate level of ases of people that suffer from Lyme disease in the
long term, and although the review panel chairwoman Dr. Carol J. Baker assured patients that the panel members had “tremendous compassion” those victims who said they had chronic cases, all of
the members were concerned about the safety and cost issues of prescribing extended antibiotic therapy, and stated that “We don’t want our patients to be exposed to those kinds of risks when
there was no credible medical or scientific evidence that these kinds of therapies improved their illness”.
Dr Cameron also pointed out that the report from the panel would be just another excuse for health insurers to refuse to pay out for those patients that needed ongoing medical support for Lyme disease, and is keen to reassure patients that doctors will continue to support those that suffer from chronic Lyme related problems and offer ongoing treatment.
Veterinarians see Increase in Lyme Disease Cases
Tiny adult tick
Domestic animals are prone to a number of insect-borne diseases including Lyme disease, and recent figures show that nearly as many as 30% of all canines in high risk areas will have been exposed to the bacteria which causes Lyme disease, Borellia burgdorferi. Lyme disease can be a difficult condition to diagnose and treat as many people are not aware of this condition and how it can affect their pets, and after infection the majority of canine patients are never fully cured of the bacteria, despite receiving treatment. The severity of Lyme disease can vary from mild but persistent symptoms of fatigue and joint pains through to more serious forms of the disease which can cause fatal health breakdowns such as kidney failure.
When it comes to Lyme disease in domestic animals prevention is the key, and this means that pet owners will need to understand about the life cycle of ticks, so that they can put effective tick control methods in place. Ticks follow an annual lifecycle and are not harmful to pets and in all of their development stages. During the summer ticks are generally in the immature stage and by late summer they actually stop feeding and enter the pupation stage so at this point there is a lower risk of infection, but many pet owners mistakenly believe the summer months are key times to protect against ticks.
In reality the most important stage of the tick’s development occurs in around February to March time, when the adult stage peaks and the ticks begin to feed voraciously in preparation for breeding in early spring. This is the key time of year when ticks present a high risk of carrying the Lyme bacteria over to pets, and owners should begin using tick control methods when the adults emerge in late fall, and continue right through to early summer.
ISDA 2006 Lyme Treatment Guidelines Reaffirmed
The panel put in place to review the 2006 Infectious Diseases Society of America (IDSA) guidelines which detail the treatment of Lyme disease have voted unanimously to make ‘no changes’, and to continue recommending short-term antibiotic treatment for the infectious condition Lyme disease (spread by infected tick bites), and advising against long-term antibiotic therapy for patients with ongoing problems. This news has dismayed many doctors, patients and activists throughout America who have long campaigned for changes to be made to the 2006 IDSA Lyme treatment guidelines.
The ISDA stated that the controversial guidelines as published in 2006 still remained the most effective clinical protocols for the treatment of Lyme disease, despite heavy criticism from sufferers of this condition who believe that Lyme disease should be re-classed as a chronic condition that could require long-term antibiotic treatment. Some of the sufferers of Lyme disease have expressed concerns over the guidelines and feel that they are not very relevant any more. Whether this is true or not, the guidelines still hold. The report issued by the panel on 22 April 2010 stated that Infected ticks can spread Lyme disease
Reactions from this disease
These findings have angered the hundreds of patients around America that suffer prolonged and often debilitating symptoms following the recommended treatment schedule of short-term antibiotics for Lyme disease, and Dr Daniel Cameron (a past president of the International Lyme and Associated Diseases Society) has responded to this report with some resignation, stating that he was not at all surprised by the ‘no change’ verdict. Dr Cameron is just one of the many healthcare advisers around America that have been disappointed by the failure of the ISDA to offer leadership on the difficult and growing problem of Lyme disease.
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