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United States: Tick-Borne Disease Working Group 2018 Report to Congress

November 14th, 2018

“A comprehensive understanding of the full economic and societal cost remains unknown. It is likely orders of magnitude higher and potentially a $50- to $100-billion-dollar problem for the United States, although more research is needed (Vanderhoof & Vanderhoof-Forschner, 1993; Zhang et al., 2006).”

“The U.S. National Institutes of Health (NIH) and CDC spend $77,355 and $20,293, respectively, per new surveillance case of HIV/AIDS, and $36,063 and $11,459 per new case of hepatitis C virus, yet only $768 and
$302 for each new case of Lyme disease. Federal funding for tick-borne diseases today is orders of magnitude lower, compared to other public health threats, and it has failed to increase as the problem has grown.”

Treatment – The public said they need ways to determine if or when Lyme disease infection is resolved. They would like an integrated, interdisciplinary systems-biology approach to understanding Lyme disease, tick-borne diseases, and related immune suppression. They noted the need to revise Western medicine’s medical construct of Lyme disease and tick-borne diseases to match the science. They also noted the need to go beyond Lyme disease
and conduct research into combinations of coinfections.”Access to Care and Patient Outcomes –

Access to Care and Patient Outcomes – The public stressed that insurance needs to cover treatment, including long-term antibiotics and immunotherapy, which would be patient-centered and at the treating clinician’s discretion. Patients also need to participate in Lyme- and tick-borne diseases–related decisions. They noted that current medical practices are often harmful and often re-traumatizing patients.”

Report estimates number of cases of Lyme disease in United States to be between 291,430 – 437,150 cases per year for an average of 364,290 cases per year yet funding for research is only (28 million + 11 million = 39 million per year) calculates to $107 dollars per case per year.  For a comparison Hepatitis C has 2,967 per year and receives (107 million + 34 million = 141 million per year) which calculates to $47,523 per case per year.

Canada has similar drastic imbalances.

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One Comment

  1. It isn’t just that more financial resources are needed but who decides where and to whom they should go. If funding decisions go to the same network that has been controlling Lyme & TBD’s and who are intent on maintaining the status quo then we shouldn’t expect much in the way of change.

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