Petitioning U.S. House of Representatives and 2 others

Legalize Lyme Disease

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Lyme disease has reached epidemic proportions.

It is the fastest growing infectious bacterial disease in America. Generally contracted through a tick bite, new evidence shows it is also contractable via mosquito, spider, or fly bite [1], from mother to child in the womb [2], or potentially through unprotected sex [3].

The CDC admits that it does not know how many people have Lyme disease. Estimates vary between 300,000 and 1.5 Million new cases diagnosed per year [4]. These figures do not include tens of thousands of undiagnosed or misdiagnosed cases. 25% of all Lyme cases are children.

When Lyme disease is not treated early it can be debilitating, even fatal. The spiral-shaped bacteria (Borrelia) bore their way through every tissue, organ, or bone, causing damage wherever they go. The bacteria knowingly avoid treatment areas in the body and by changing their shape, mimic non-threatening cells. They create intelligent biofilms to protect themselves from antibiotics and their host's natural immune response. Studies now show that 1 in 5 cases may go on to become chronic due to Borrelia "persisters" [5]. 

Unfortunately, the CDC-approved test available for early detection fails approximately 50% of the time [6]. And due to abysmal funding for research, effective treatments are experimental and often long-lasting.

The CDC's illegal preferential treatment of out-of-date and inaccurate Infectious Disease Society of America (IDSA) Lyme Treatment Guidelines [7] support a government narrative that chronic Lyme does not exist. Thusly, insurance companies are not required to cover treatment costs and patients are left to pay for long-lasting treatment out of pocket. Lyme Literate Medical Doctors (LLMDs) who practice life-saving medicine for Lyme patients are forced to operate outside of the insurance industry, for risk of being shut down.

Such little information and training is available to physicians across the country, patients are left to suffer for years before they even receive a diagnosis [8]. By then, many have been misdiagnosed with any of the 300+ diseases that Lyme mimics [9]. They have lost their jobs and are on disability. Some (including children and teens) are heavily affected by the neuropsychological effects of the disease and succumb to suicide [10]. Others have died simply due to ignorance of doctors [11]. This cannot continue. 

The CDC and IDSA have failed to control Lyme disease. As sufferers, care-takers, friends, family, and co-workers of those who are suffering, we urgently request from the President and all members of Congress:

1. Legislation Expanding The Definition Of Lyme Disease To Cover Chronic Lyme And Co-infections

2. Legislation Protecting Doctors Who Treat Chronic Lyme And Co-infections From Insurance Industry-driven Investigation And Shut-down

3. Heavily Increased Funding For Research Into Chronic Lyme Disease And Co-infections

4. Greatly Improved Testing With High Accuracy Rates (As Seen With Ebola And Other Infectious Diseases)

5. Education Of Doctors And The Public Regarding Symptoms And All Treatment Options

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This petition was originally featured on the We The People petition site. Thank you for signing and sharing with friends, coworkers, spiritual leaders, family members, loved ones, and strangers. It is time to Legalize Lyme disease, including chronic stage and co-infections!

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Sign to add your voice to establish proper legislation and funding of this global epidemic.

Important resources: 

ILADS.org

lymedisease.org

lymestats.org

lymediseasechallenge.org

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Sources:

[1] New England Journal of Medicine: http://www.nejm.org/doi/full/10.1056/NEJM199006143222415
Journal of Molecular Medicine: http://link.springer.com/article/10.1007/BF01711648
Journal of Clinical Microbiology: http://jcm.asm.org/content/26/8/1482.full.pdf
PubMed: http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/4075471
Folia Parasitologica: http://folia.paru.cas.cz/pdfs/fol/1998/01/11.pdf

[2] Annals of Internal Medicine: http://annals.org/article.aspx?articleid=699780 PubMed: http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/7648832

[3] Journal of Investigative Medicine: http://www.lymedisease.org/lyme-sexual-transmission-2/
Conclusions Raphael B. Stricker, MD On Sexual transmission of Lyme disease: https://twitter.com/NorVect/status/604992062421921792

[4] Dr. Richard Horowitz discusses new case estimates with Congressional Candidate Zephyr Teachout: https://youtu.be/rTIeyKuo8JY

[5] Scientific American: http://www.scientificamerican.com/article/lyme-disease-may-linger-for-1-in-5-because-of-persisters/

[6] Journal of Infectious Diseases, Wisconsin State Laboratory of Hygiene/College of American Pathologists Proficiency Testing Program: http://www.lymedisease.org/lymepolicywonk-two-tiered-lab-testing-for-lyme-disease-no-better-than-a-coin-toss-time-for-change-2/

[7] Advocates Call on CDC to Remove Expired Lyme Guidelines from all Publications https://www.webwire.com/ViewPressRel.asp?aId=202124

[8] Study of over 6,000 Lyme patients: http://www.lymedisease.org/wp-content/uploads/2015/04/lymedisease.org-patient-survey-20151.pdf

[9] Can Lyme Disease Be Chronic? Dr. Richard Horowitz: http://www.foxnews.com/health/2015/05/06/lyme-disease-debate-can-condition-be-chronic/

[10] Psychology Today: https://www.psychologytoday.com/blog/emerging-diseases/200903/infection-can-change-your-personality-theres-plenty-proof?collection=126213

[11] "Doctors Pushed ALS Diagnosis, Ignored Lyme", Valley Breeze: http://www.valleybreeze.com/2014-12-17/cumberland-lincoln-area/geraghtys-doctors-pushed-als-diagnosis-ignored-lyme#.Vub33JMrJE5

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