Friday, April 04, 2008

New Vaccine Fights Lyme Disease

news you may not knowGreat News for Nature Lovers...

If you love the outdoors this is very good news.

Scientists at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention in Fort Collins, Colorado, have developed a vaccine to fight Lyme disease. Previous findings showed a single dose of oral doxycycline prevents Lyme about 20-30% of the time. But, the new vaccine was 100% effective in recent tests.

The vaccine has been formulated as a slow release treatment. The antibiotic, given as a single injection, is released over a 20-day period. In tests using mice the protection rate was perfect. The scientists will now work on developing different delivery mechanisms for use with humans. One possibility is a sustained-release patch.

Lyme disease is a devastating illness that begins with an imperceptible bite. A deer tick, infected with the bacteria, passes it on to humans. The disease was first identified in 1975 in Lyme, Connecticut. A group of mothers realized their children had all been diagnosed with rheumatoid arthritis. After further exploration, the little critter responsible for the ailment was identified in 1982.

Lyme disease may begin with a small rash about the site of the bite. In time the disease progresses, often affecting the entire body. Hallmark symptoms of Lyme disease include fatigue, muscle aches and pains, stiffness in the joints, swollen glands and headaches. Lyme can also damage the heart, nervous system and peripheral nerves.

It's quite a severe illness considering its tiny origin.

So, "be careful out there." Until the vaccine is perfected and made available for human use, you'll have to use other methods to protect yourself.

To read more about the vaccine, see this from ScienceDaily. To learn more about Lyme disease, including recommended precautions, see this from


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