Lyme Disease

jkirkhart35 via flickr
June 28, 2011

It's summertime, a time when many people are thinking fondly of ice cream, baseball and cookouts. Many of us spend as much time as possible outdoors, taking long walks through fields and forests, and soaking in the natural beauty of the region.

Unfortunately, underneath that beauty lives a very worrisome beast - the tick. According to the infectious disease research program at Cornell University, the Lyme disease-infection rate of ticks in Tompkins County is among the highest in the state, with as many as 30% of deer ticks in the area carrying the disease.

Aside from the worry about the tick population is the worry about the disease itself. Lyme disease is a complex - and sometimes controversial - issue within the medical and research communities, and one that affects a growing number of people every year. According to the CDC, Lyme disease is the most commonly reported vectorborne illness in the United States, with more than 25,000 confirmed cases each year; some estimate that there are tens of thousands more cases that go unreported or unconfirmed.

Dr. Lis Heininger, Director of the Corning/Finger Lakes Chapter of the Lyme Disease Associatio
Dr. Daniel Cameron, an internist and epidemiologist in Mt. Kisco, NY, and past president of the International Lyme and Associated Diseases Society
Pamela Weintraub, features editor for Discover magazine, and author of Cure Unknown: Inside the Lyme Epidemic