Lyme Disease On The Rise - My9 New Jersey

Lyme Disease On The Rise

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Lyme disease is an infection caused by a bacteria, transferred by the bite of an infected tick.  It may start with a bull's eye type rash and flu like symptoms – and can cause cardiac, neurological and reproductive problems.

Ronica chased this story because New Jersey has the 3rd highest number of Lyme disease cases in the country, and the season peaks in late summer.

Ronica chased this to Pat Smith, the President of the Lyme Disease Association to find out what it is about NJ that makes it so prevalent. "What is it about NJ that makes us rank so highly in the case numbers? Well I'd like to think it's regional because NY is #1, PA is #2 and NJ is #3." Smith said.

There is a controversy over whether or not chronic Lyme Disease even exists.

Ronica did a Google hangout with Dr. Paul Auwaerter who is on the Board of Directors for the Infectious Diseases Society of America.  He says Chronic Lyme isn't real.  Stating that, "I believe some doctors do diagnose those patients with chronic Lyme disease, even though by good methodological testing there is no clear evidence that they've ever suffered from Lyme disease."

But Congressman Chris Smith is fighting on behalf of those who believe Chronic Lyme exists. He says the disagreement within the medical community stems from conflicts of interest with insurance companies saying, "Every one of the panelists had a conflict of interest with an insurance company or insurance companies."

Congressman Smith is working to get a comprehensive bill passed that would create a blue ribbon commission to ideally prove that chronic Lyme does exist and help those with chronic Lyme actually have treatment subsidized by their insurance.

For more information On Lyme Disease check out the links below.

Infectious Diseases Society of America: http://www.idsociety.org/

Lyme Disease Association: http://www.lymediseaseassociation.org/

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