The history of Lyme disease in North America begins in the 1970’s, when
it officially became a disease in the United States, however, the
disease dates back to 3300 BC.
1970’s In America where it all began…
The era I was born… so was Lyme
Through the 1970′s a concerned citizen from Lyme, Connecticut named Polly Murray, contacted the Centre for Disease Control until they sent specialists to find out why large numbers of children in her town had what appeared to be rheumatoid arthritis. The specialists checked air, water, dirt, and just about everything else trying to find what could cause the phenomenon.
Then they realized children played near the edges of densely wooded areas, finally pinpointing the ticks.
IN 1976 they had named the condition Lyme disease and set up antibiotic regimens to treat it.
During the 1980’s a team headed by Allen Speere started testing various antibiotic regimens to treat the new disease. At the same time Willy Burgdorferi, a researcher at the Rocky Mountain Biological Laboratory, was studying and examining ticks from New York when he noticed a spirochete that he had never seen before. He checked the rest of the ticks he had on hand, and found that 60% of them carried the organism.
Burgdorferi had been trained in Europe, where the link between a spirochete and the bulls eye rash had been hypothesized, so he chased the lead by obtaining more ticks and some blood samples from people diagnosed with Lyme disease. Eventually he isolated the spirochete in Lyme sufferers and published his findings, earning him the honor of having his discovery named after him:
Borellia Burgdorferi. With the causative bacteria identified, more antibiotic testing commenced, as did many other lines of research into the organism and the disease. The results have been varied and almost always politicized.
Through the ’90’s the pharmaceutical corporation Glaxo Smith Kline developed a Lyme vaccine, LYMErix, finally releasing it in 1998.
By 2002 the vaccine no longer existed because of concerns that it was causing severe autoimmune reactions.
In 2013 scientists discovered a new Lyme-like disease caused by a bacteria of Japanese origin– Borrelia miyamotoi – in humans living in New England and New York. The disease is a distant relative of Lyme disease, and is noted for those infected experiencing recurring fevers.
We have known about Borrelia Miyamotoi for some time, but had never seen it in people before.
Lyme disease is named after a town in Connecticut in the 1970s, but it should be called the
Milwaukee disease after dermatologist Scrimenti, who was a pioneer in the treatment of Lyme disease in the United States.
Hope you enjoy this Official First Blog from Lyme Lilli Founder Andrea Marciano. Well my hubby has been patiently waiting for me, its our 3rd year wedding anniversary today! Night… xoxox #LymeLilliLove, Drea