Is It Lyme Disease – Or Covid-19?
Check Out the Top-30 Symptom -Similarity Checklist.
The warmer weather is here. Attention is still on social distancing, facemasks, with frustration, confusion and fears all around. However, for those living in the country, it is also a time to be outdoors. Life is in gardens; nature walks, hiking trails and other natural habitats. While we social distance, ticks do not! Yes, ticks are busy crawling on garden hoses, hanging off grasses, creeping around in the leaves on the ground – looking for their next meal.
May is Lyme Disease Awareness Month – frankly (in my opinion), every month is Lyme disease awareness month. Because of the pandemic, the discussion in Lyme –literate communities revolves around topics including:
- With more people spending time outdoors, will there be an increase in tick bites?
- With the attention on hydroxychloroquine will the supply be available to the Lyme community – or more directed to Covid-19 patients in hospitals?
- Are individuals afraid to go to the ER with a tick bite, as they are afraid to acquire a Corona infection at the hospital?
- Will some have difficulty distinguishing whether they are experiencing Lyme disease, or Covid-19 symptoms?
Let us check out similarities between Lyme disease and Covid-19:
- Both are global diseases.
- Both are zoonotic and can transmit between species.
- There are multiple strains of infection on different continents. It is this that plays a role with global vaccination challenges.
- There is no common consensus among health organizations regarding treatment.
- Those with underlying health conditions are more at risk of becoming seriously ill.
- Both can be asymptomatic in individuals with robust immune systems.
- Future reactivation is a concern.
- One can test negative repeatedly despite clinical symptoms, being present. And test later positive (or not).
- There is controversy regarding re-infection after the initial infection.
- Neither antibody, nor PCR blood testing is 100% accurate.
- Both can result in a cytokine storm with excessive inflammation and severe consequences.
- Symptoms can manifest in physical, neurological, pulmonary, gastric, and cardiac distress.
- Infections can activate dormant viruses in the body, e.g. EBV
- Both can result in mysterious conditions, resulting in admission to the ER for life-saving treatment.
- Both infections can present with a fever, headaches, muscle aches and joint pains.
- Lingering fatigue with, and post-infection is not uncommon.
- Increased blood clotting can occur.
- Shortness of breath can be a symptom.
- Prevention is the focus of Covid-19, and Lyme disease.
- Initial correct diagnosis can be a challenge, especially with false / negatives in initial testing.
- Both infections have been mentioned in the arena of lab engineering, escaping from a lab, and biological warfare. (Wuhan, China, and Lab 257 on Plum Island, across from Old Lyme, CT.)
- Treatment options for both infections include medications, off label medications, and natural therapies, incl. Antibiotics, anti-malaria medication, blood plasma exchange, IV vitamin C, IV glutathione, blue light, blood thinning medication, ozone, anti-inflammatories and immune modulators.
- Both infections can induce financial ruin.
- Both are impacted by international travel.
- Both can mimic the flu or pneumonia.
- Neither has a vaccine.
- Both result in social distancing, one optional, the other mandated.
- Both can result in disability, and death.
- Both can be transmitted in pregnancy.
- Both need more research. However Corona will has exceptional financial backing, and Lyme disease does not….
Even though the Coronal virus is called a “novel’” virus, there are many different types of corona viruses in humans, dogs, and cats. And now tigers in the Bronx zoo too. Lyme disease, or worldwide known as Borreliosis, has a very long history too.
If one considers that the human host consists of over 120 trillion microbes, it is worthwhile to consider that diverse fungi, parasites and viruses have always been a vital part of our human experience. Only 10% of our body is comprised of human cells. The rest of us is a microbial soup with an innate defense against external infectious agents, and a highly regulated immune system that looks out for our survival at all times. Great danger comes with (esp. bio-engineered) infectious agents of any kind, and multiple environmental factors. The accumulative load over a lifetime has the potential to dampen the innate immune system, and to overstimulate an adaptive immune response. Invariably this comes with collateral damage, often at a great cost to quality of life.
There is the concern of long-term health consequences because of excessive sanitation in our current living environment. This diminishes the diversity of health-supporting microbes that live on our hands, sinuses, throat and mouth cavity, They play a vital role in our immune system’s ability to respond appropriately, and effectively, as a first line of defense. With a Lyme disease or Covid-19 infection, it also begs ‘food for thought’ when considering the need to diversify our gut terrain, which houses up to 70% of our immune system. I have yet to hear any major news coverage regarding either…
We must take care of it with daily choices in what we put on our bodies, eat, move, think, sleep, and how much technology we have in our lives. With both infections discussed, it is the response and resilience of the immune system that determines the severity of symptoms, and the ultimate outcome.
As we head into May, warmer days and sunshine are ahead.
Wishing you well,
NY Integrated Health