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Sunday, March 29, 2015

Reinfection: Can It Happen?

Something I have been wondering about since I found out that I do have Lyme disease:  Can I ever catch it a second time?  I would never want to go through this a second time.  I even wondered if I could contract it again while still being treated with antibiotics?

The answer, according to an article and study by the New England Journal of Medicine, is yes.  Many people do get reinfected.  Strains of Lyme can vary, so even if you have built up an immunity to one type of bacteria, you could potentially be reinfected.  Also, ticks can carry over ten different vectors in their bite.  ( The Center for Disease Control lists 13 separate tick born vectors!) You may be infected with a different type of bacteria that you have not previously been exposed to before.
Here is the link to the CDC list of tick born vectors:
http://www.cdc.gov/ticks/diseases/

I am afraid, at this point, to go hiking, camping, or biking because of the fear of reinfection.  It is almost as though I am suffering from Post Traumatic Stress Disorder because of this fear.  It is keeping me from enjoying the things that I used to love, even though I am feeling much better.

Even before I contracted Lyme, I was careful to always carry insect repellent in my car.  It seems even more important for me do this now that I have already contracted the disease and I know the risks of not doing so.  I urge others to do the same.

http://phys.org/news/2015-03-ecologist-tracks-tick-borne-diseases-usual.html


Below is a link to a pod cast and text article on the topic of reinfection that was published by NPR:

http://www.npr.org/blogs/health/2012/11/14/165115733/reinfection-with-lyme-disease-may-cause-chronic-symptoms

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