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Date: Thu, 9 Feb 1995 18:33:44 CST
From: "Dr. Reinald Meurers" <>
Subject: Re: Lyme Disease

Cannot keep my mouth shut, so:

Lyme disease is an infection by the bacterium Borrelia.  This bacterium
exists almost everywhere in the world in different subspecies.  The
microbes live mainly in the bowels of blood sucking insects, among
these ticks, where the bacterium can live in the saliva as well.  The
microbe is related to the bacterium, that causes Syphilis ( BTW this
has a nicer way of transmitting the disease :-) ).  So the disease,
called Lyme of the place, where it was first diagnosed and described,
has four stages as well.

In a german study in Lower Saxon they found that in rural areas 2,5 per
cent of the population got Borreliosis, contrary to a ten times higher
infection rate among employees in forestry.  The bite of an infected
tick will not necessarily cause Borreliosis as the length of the period
of being bitten is crucial.  Apparently the tick regurgitates blood
mixed with her bowel contents after being almost saturated.  And than
the infection can start as there must be a certain amount of microbes
in the human body - otherwise the body is resistant enough and can
fight the microbes.  SOOOO - Do take out as quickly as possible every
tick you find.  AND PLEASE forget all tales about covering the tick
with oil, margarine, nail paint, glue and so on.  THIS ONLY CAUSES the
than oxygen lacking tick to vomit and thus injecting her Borrelia
microbes in the human body, i.e. the reverse effect of what you want
her to do ! Do not worry about eventually having the head remain in the
skin, it comes off within some days without problem.  I use very simple
my Leatherman and pull the tick out, while slowly turning - either
right or lest does not make any difference -.  Back to Lower Saxon and
its study: People, who get bitten often by ticks like forestry
employees develop an partial immunity ! They need 15 times more bites
than the normal human population to get the infection.

Lyme Disease itself: Only half of the infected humans develop the
typical skin manifestation of Lyme disease:

AFTER several days of NO SIGNS ( 2 - 30 ) at all at the bite area there
can develop a reddish ring around the bite.  BUT the center and the
direct bite is in most of the cases normal colored !

This " Erythema chronicum migrans " = red skin ring is getting white in
the center and increases to the outer area in size.  This so called
stage I is only in less than 50 per cent of the infections visible.
But if some days after a tick bite such skin reddening shows, you have
an interest to see your physician and ask him for an antibiotic
treatment after a blood test for specific antibodies ( which
unfortunately are not always accurate ).  Treatment is with penicillin
or tetracycline or doxycycline at usual dosages in pill form (per os ).

If stage I is not treated one can have flu symptoms as generalization
in stage II and get stage III with special infections due to the
infected organ ( heart, brain, neurologic like face nerves, liver etc.
).  Stage IV is complicated with damage to the organs and several
locations.  Date as of 1982: In Switzerland around 1/3 of the ticks
infested with Borrelia, Austria between 4 - 40 percent, Germany around
15 per cent, Sweden around 15 per cent - but all these figures vary
locally !

Interesting was a study in southern Germany ( Freiburg), which showed
antibodies as sign of an unknown Lyme Disease with 17 per cent of the
population and as a reason of many acute arthritis diseases.  During
the study 64 persons were diagnosticised as freshly infected.  BUT ONLY
30 percent had this skin reddening " Erythema" !

So far enough boredom to you, I could go on for hours with details.
PS: I apologize to everyone who might feel insulted by this posting.
Americans are not responsible for Lyme Disease, there is no "Beast"
mentioned and no special discrimation for female or male ticks...:-)
Waidmannsheil - Good Hunting Reinald


I  Dr. Reinald von Meurers     I  I
I  Honeywell Regelsysteme GmbH I                                      I
I  Honeywell Strasse 2-6       I Phone:  +49 6181 401 554             I
I  D-63477 Maintal             I   Fax:  +49 6181 45456               I

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