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Tick-Borne Diseases Are No Walk in the Park - You May Have One and Not Know It 

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One tick bite may transmit over a dozen tick-borne diseases including Lyme disease. Many people do not know how widespread the tick-borne disease epidemic is and the high odds that someone they know may be affected. Please take a few moments to read the following facts that demonstrate the seriousness of tick-borne diseases and how they can be prevented.

Misdiagnosis
It is unclear how many cases of tick-borne diseases are properly diagnosed or reported each year. Estimates indicate that only one out of every ten cases of Lyme disease is reported and that many people are misdiagnosed. State health departments reported 22,561 confirmed cases and 7,597 probable cases to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) in 2010. The actual number of new annual cases is believed to be much higher than the number reported, partially because reporting criteria varies state to state. The number of cases reported annually has increased nearly 25-fold since national surveillance began in 1982.

Lyme disease and other tick-borne diseases may be difficult to diagnose because their symptoms mimic those of other disorders. In addition, the only distinctive hallmark unique to Lyme disease, the "bulls eye" rash, is absent in almost half of the people who become infected. The inadequacies of today's laboratory tests make proper diagnosis difficult, and it can be extremely troublesome to treat tick-borne disease infections in their later phases.

Tick-borne diseases including Lyme can attack virtually any system in the body. Some of the first symptoms may include a flu-like condition, with fever, chills, headache, stiff neck, achiness, and fatigue. Other symptoms can include pain in various joints and muscles, neurological problems, heart involvement, problems with vision or hearing, migraines, low-grade fever or other symptoms. Lyme disease is often mistaken for other illnesses since the symptoms often mirror other medical problems, such as multiple sclerosis, arthritis, chronic fatigue syndrome, lupus or Alzheimer's disease. In some cases, Lyme disease patients can become paralyzed and/or comatose. Lyme and other tick-borne disease symptoms may come and go and be replaced by new symptoms. Symptoms may be subtle or pronounced.

Lyme disease is a bacterial spirochete (organism) transmitted by ticks. The name of the particular bacteria is Borrelia burgdorferi. Other diseases are also transmitted by ticks and are caused by infections with a variety of pathogens, including bacteria, viruses and protozoa.

Selection of Proper Physicians
When a patient with possible Lyme-disease symptoms does not develop the distinctive rash, a physician must rely on a detailed medical history and a careful physical examination for essential clues to diagnosis, with laboratory tests playing a supportive role.

The inadequacies of the current diagnostic tests and many physicians' lack of experience with tick-borne diseases and in interpreting results often prevent a correct diagnosis. In the first few weeks following infection, antibody tests are not reliable because a patient's immune system may not produce enough antibodies to be detected. Antibiotics given to a patient early during infection may prevent antibodies from reaching detectable levels, even though the Lyme-disease bacterium is the cause of the patient's symptoms.

If you are interested in finding a medical practitioner in your area with experience treating tick-borne diseases, please e-mail our volunteers at  This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.   

Please click here to read a true story of the frustration of being misdiagnosed and not finding an experienced tick-borne disease medical practitioner.

TBDA in El Diario New York

TBDA in El Diario, May 30, 2012On May 30th, TBDA was prominent in a major feature in the Spanish-language paper El Diario, about the growing public health crisis presented by tick-borne diseases. Click the image above for a full pdf.

TBDA on NBC Nightly News

TBDA Co-Chairman David Roth talks to Chuck Scarborough on NBC New York Nightly News about the dangers of Lyme and tick-borne diseases, and how TBDA is working to eradicate them.

TBDA Walks, Runs, Bike Rides & Other Sporting Events

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First Annual 5K Walk to Bite Back for a Cure

Saturday, September 20th, Nashua, NH
The 5K Bite Back for a Cure Race follows a path in a woody, shady forest with scenic water views. Registration and check in begins at 10:30 am, opening remarks are at 11:30, the Lowell Party Band plays at 11:45, and the race begins at 12:00 pm near the parking entrance of Conway Ice Arena. Closing ceremonies will be held by the registration area from 2-2:30. Information stations, a live band, food, and more will be available!

Saks Fifth Avenue Benefit Event for Tick-Borne Disease Alliance

Sunday, September 21st, Merrimack, NH
  • Live DJ
  • Free Refreshments
  • Opening Remarks with TBDA's John Donnally
  • Keynote Address by award-winning author Katina Makris

Bite Back for a Cure Motorcycle Ride Along the Tennessee River

Saturday, October 11th, Florence, AL

7:30 am - Registration and check-in begins, then riders can grab bagels, donuts, and coffee, while checking out the information stations.
8:30 am - Welcome Ceremony with TBDA's John Donnally and LIMU Independent Distributor and Ride Coordinator, Derrell Walton.
9:00 am - The Ride begins! Florence Police Department will escort the riders out of McFarland Park to start the 75-mile ride along the Tennessee River.
11:00 am-2:30 pm - Live music, catered lunch, and socializing at the park. The band RePlay will provide the live music, and Buffalo Rock and Reddy Ice will supply plenty of food and beverage. A DJ will be at the event all day.
2:30 pm - TBDA’s John Donnally will speak on behalf of the Tick-Borne Disease Alliance, and entomologist Dr. Joseph Cooney will speak about the prevalence of tick-borne diseases in the South and how to best protect yourself.

We hope to see you there. Information stations, great live music & a DJ, food & beverage, and more will be available!




 Organizing a Walk, Run or Bike Ride

TBDA "Bite Back" Walks, Runs and Bike Rides are a great way to empower local communities and raise awareness around the country for our cause. If you're interested in organizing a walk or run in your area, TBDA provides a variety of helpful templates and instructions throughout the process. To start, you can download the following for use in your local event:

Please also email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. to notify John Donnally that you will be hosting a walk, run or ride. He'll provide you with instructions on the materials (and alternate file types where needed) and can guide you in using the online fundraising tool, FirstGiving. 

Thank you for your interest in helping to eradicate Lyme and tick-borne diseases.