- According to CDC surveillance statistics, only
52 cases of Lyme
disease have been reported in Arizona in the past 10 years. These
statistics may be misleading. Reported cases reflect the "tip of the
iceberg," or only a fraction of the true cases. The CDC states
there are approximately 30,000 reported cases of Lyme in the US, and
acknowledges that it is underreported by 10 fold. This means
that there are a minimum of 200,000 cases in the US that meet the
CDC standard of diagnosis.
- Reporting criteria for the diagnosis of Lyme
has been a huge debate among medical professionals.
- Arizona is a magnet for retirees from the northeast and other areas
where Lyme is highly endemic. These people may be infected in their
home state and develop symptoms as they age and their immune systems
There are over 25 species of ticks in Arizona that may carry Rocky
Mountain spotted fever, Anaplasma, Ehrlichia, Tularemia, Babesia and
tick fever, as well as Lyme disease. If the tick that bites you is
infected, it can inject Lyme bacteria into your bloodstream within
hours of attachment. The bacteria can also invade your brain
and nervous system in less than 24
- Lyme disease is totally curable if caught
early. In the later stages it is at least manageable.
Lyme disease is under-diagnosed, under-treated, and under-reported.
Many people do not remember being bitten by the poppy-seed-sized
tick. Doctors often prefer more familiar diagnoses like chronic
fatigue, MS, rheumatoid arthritis, or mental illness - Lyme disease
mimics many diseases. Too strict interpretation of insensitive tests
leaves many people in a diagnostic limbo, getting sicker and without
proper treatment. Most cases are not reported, leading to
artificially low numbers, less recognition of the true costs of the
disease and less funding for research.
- Some Lyme Basics
- Bartonella is the most common tick-borne
disease in the US and Europe, followed by Lyme disease.
- Lyme is the fastest growing infectious
disease in the US.
- It is named after the town Old Lyme,
Connecticut and was discovered in 1982..
- Is caused by a bacterial infection
that is a spirochete.
- The bacterium is called Borrelia
burgdorferi sensu lato.
- It is most often acquired from the
bite of an infected Ixodes tick.
- Early symptoms: Erythema Migrans (EM)
rash or a bulls eye rash, fever, malaise, fatigue, head ache, muscle
and joint aches in large joints, sore throat and sinus infection.
- May be misdiagnosed as many other
diseases such as Multiple Sclerosis, CFS, FMS, Rheumatoid Arthritis
and other neurological diseases.
- Difficult to diagnose
- Testing is not reliable
- Clinical diagnosis
- Two standards of care: ILADS
(International Lyme and Associated Diseases Society and IDSA
(Infectious Diseases Society of America. As of Summer of 2008, the
ISDA (which states that chronic Lyme doesn't exist) guidelines
have been discredited.
- Prevention includes avoiding known
tick infested areas, mosquito-tick repellant, completely covering
with clothing and checking entire body including hair when home.
- Learn proper tick removal,
especially do not squeez the tick during removal.
- The mission of the Arizona Lyme Disease Association
We support those who are ill with
Lyme and associated diseases, while we educate the
public and the medical community. We also advocate for better knowledge
of Lyme disease within the medical community, and for
research into and development of new treatment methods.
AzLDA Arizona Lyme Disease Association is a
- 501(c)(3) Non-Profit
affiliate of NEST, Inc.
Information on AZLDA
The AZLDA is currently run by several
volunteers. We receive many calls and inquires each month from people
asking about Lyme Disease, names of doctors, education and
support. We have regular monthly meetings in
Phoenix, Tucson and Flagstaff area. See
Support Groups page.
For further information, you may contact one of the following
Physician Referrals, Education and Phone Support:
area- Donna Hoch
Northern Arizona-Tina Caskey: