Apparently I have been away from the medical beat for too long, because while I was not looking, the presence of Lyme disease in North Carolina somehow went from “Well, duh” to “medical controversy.”
Public health officials and doctors in the state have been reluctant to diagnose Lyme disease, citing evidence that ticks carrying the bacterium are scarce here and that the few that exist feed on reptiles instead of humans.
I’m having trouble following this logic.
I remember being warned about ticks and Rocky Mountain spotted fever 40 freakin’ years ago when I was a Boy Scout. Lyme disease is similar and also is tick-borne, and everyone knows the state’s growing, and increasingly encroached-upon, deer population is a tick’s favorite ride, the late-autumn increase in the incidence of atmospheric, high-velocity heavy metals notwithstanding.
If there’s anything at all that should be controversial, at least from this reluctant outdoorsman’s layman’s perspective, it’s the strong possibility that both Lyme and RMSF have been underreported in this state.