By all accounts from experts in the Lyme community these numbers are low at best, and actual cases tend to be under-reported because of the disease's confusing set of symptoms that mimic at least 300 other known illnesses, inaccurate diagnostics and widely-contested diagnostic and treatment guidelines as put forth by government agencies like the CDC and Infectious Disease Society of America (IDSA). In short, blood tests that are considered standard (Western Blot and ELISA) only test for a small range of antibodies, and diagnostic standards were restricted further in 1994 and 1995 by two medical symposiums under a CDC grant, making both tests between 45% and 69% inaccurate.
The typical scenario for a patient of chronic Lyme disease is an extended period of slowly-emerging symptoms and inconclusive diagnosis for years and even decades, official treatment that consists of a short round of antibiotics that is only effective at wiping out the infection within the first 60 days of infection, and longterm symptom management that is officially recognized by the CDC and IDSA as "Post-Treatment" Lyme disease that is not considered chronic. The official stance is that chronic Lyme disease is over-diagnosed by non-evidence based doctors and is not a legitimate condition, but governmental groups do recognize that for some reason millions of patients complain of symptom persistence after treatment. Because of this frustrating set of circumstances, millions of patients suffer every year, and according to Dr. Joseph Jemsek (MD from Washington, DC), “The most common cause of death in Lyme disease is suicide.” And those who don't pass by their own hand, quietly die from heart conditions, organ failure and ALS and MS symptoms that rise during the term of infection and treatment.
The question remains, why is everything about Lyme disease much different than other widespread infectious diseases?
According to public record, the set of illnesses that would ultimately be called "Lyme disease" was originally identified in three towns in southeastern Connecticut in 1975, (including the towns of Lyme and Old Lyme, which gave the disease its popular name) after a number of children in the area were misdiagnosed with juvenile rheumatoid arthritis. The commonality in this outbreak was the appearance of a spirochete pathogen that was isolated and identified by medical entomologist Willy Burdorfer in 1982. The bacteria was later named after Burgdorfer (borrelia burgdorferi), and he was eventually lauded as the man who discovered Lyme disease.
From this point on, there was great focus on the Lyme spirochete even though Burgdorfer reported to have also discovered parasitic worms and other pathogens present in his tick specimens. However, the medical community at large began approaching the illness as an acute, single-bacterial disease to be treated with antibiotic therapy until thousands of patients began to report persistent symptoms. Burgdorfer himself would give a set of baffling interviews until his death in 2014, hinting that there was more to this illness than the bacteria named after him. It wasn't until the publishing of two books exposing the truth that we now know why.
In 2005, Long Island native Michael C. Carroll published the book "Lab 257: The Secret Story of the Government's Germ Laboratory," describing activities at nearby Plum Island, the site of two military bioweapons laboratories established after World War II as a part of Operation Paperclip.
"Operation Paperclip was a secret program of the Joint Intelligence Objectives Agency (JIOA) largely carried out by Special Agents of Army CIC, in which more than 1,600 German scientists, engineers, and technicians, such as Wernher von Braun and his V-2 rocket team, were taken from Germany to America for U.S. government employment, primarily between 1945 and 1959. Many were former members, and some were former leaders, of the Nazi Party." (Wikipedia)
The U.S. government made a public display of prosecuting 24 Nazi leaders for war crimes during the Nuremburg trials of 1945-1946, but it secretly integrated almost 2,000 unrepentant Nazi scientists that made up the bulk of the Axis braintrust and hired them to develop a set of secret, involuntary human experiments on the citizens of the U.S. as well as other foreign countries. The most well-known that have come to light are experiments studying the effects of radiation on military subjects, a range of mind-control experiments called MK Ultra that have inspired such movies and TV shows as "One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest" and "Stranger Things," and the Tuskegee Syphilis Experiment where involuntary subjects were inoculated by agents of the CDC with active syphilis bacteria and then monitored while left untreated.
In "Lab 257," Carroll wrote two chapters that point out the direct effects of germ warfare experiments of Plum Island that were either intentionally or accidentally released -- "1975: The Lyme Connection," and "1999: East End Meets West Nile." These chapters lay out the circumstantial evidence that Lyme disease and West Nile virus pathogens were being developed in the labs off the coast of Long Island and within a few years, cases of Lyme disease began to emerge across the Long Island sound in Lyme and Old Lyme, CT as well as the coast of Long Island around 1975, and cases of West Nile Virus began appearing in nearby Queens, NY in 1999. What is unclear, according to the book, is whether the release of the pathogens was a result of human negligence or an intentional release for mass involuntary experimentation. With the publishing of a second book, this mystery seems to have been put to rest.
In her recent book, "Bitten: The Secret History of Lyme Disease Biological Weapons" published in May of 2019, author Kris Newby answers many questions left open in "Lab 257." Through her personal interviews with Willy Burgdorfer as well as access to his personal records after his death, Newby has brought to light that Burgdorfer was not so much the man who discovered the Lyme disease spirochete, but the man who recognized his own handiwork. Burgdorfer's role was to incorporate groups of pathogens developed in the labs at Plum Island and place them in genetically-modified ticks, fleas and mosquitoes he raised at the biological weapons facilities at Fort Detrick in Frederick, MD. Newby further identifies U.S. military programs that were tasked to drop weaponized insects from the air, along with uninfected insects throughout residential areas of the country to track how they spread. The point is now being made clear: Lyme disease is a set of pathogens developed as a bioweapon on Plum Island, incorporated into GMO insects at Fort Detrick and then distributed by the U.S. military and CIA throughout the U.S. and other countries.
As a result of being made aware of "Lab 257," "Bitten," and other evidence, Rep. Chris Smith of New Jersey added an amendment to a federal defense spending bill in the U.S. House of Representatives in July of 2019 that would require the Department of Defense's Inspector General to investigate whether the military experimented with ticks and other insects to be used as biological weapons between 1950 and 1975. The public response has been one of outrage and amazement, and while it is a positive step that the public is being made aware of the details behind the birth of Lyme disease, this is not the first time the general public has been outraged and a member of congress has gone to the government in an effort to try to protect the citizenry from involuntary experiments being run by branches of government, the military and public health organizations.
Since the 1990s, senators John D. Rockefeller and John Glenn and rep. Diana DeGette have identified several involuntary experiment programs the government has conducted that have harmed U.S. citizens, but as Senator Glenn recognized during a hearing in 1997...
"I began to ask the question, what protections are in place to prevent such abuses from happening again? What law prohibits experimenting on people without their informed consent? What I found, when I looked into it, is there is no law on the books requiring that informed consent be obtained. More important, I believe there is a need for such a law, as there continue to be cases where this basic right - I do view it as a basic right - is abused." -- Human Research Subject Protection Act of 1997
To date, as impossible as it may be to believe, there are no laws protecting U.S citizens from the experiments its own government has run and continues to run on the populace at large. Since Operation Paperclip, the government, military, CIA, and CDC all have a long and well-reported history of infecting involuntary subjects with harmful materials via vaccines, through the air, through water, and through animal and insect vectors. When brought to light, representatives of the experiments have been contrite but seemingly nothing has changed in the way of legislative protections.
When an experiment involving 1,200 children whose parents had not given informed consent for their childrens' participation in an experimental measles vaccine in Los Angeles came to light in 1996, Walter Orenstein, director of the National Immunization Program of the CDC had this response: "We made a serious mistake by not telling parents that the vaccine was experimental and not licensed in the United States. And we also did not accurately explain to parents the purposes at the time of entrance into the study." -- Infectious Diseases in Children Magazine 1996
To date, not a single U.S. government researcher has been prosecuted for human experimentation. The preponderance of the victims of U.S. government experiments have not received compensation or, in many cases, acknowledgment of what was done to them.
Educated with the knowledge that Lyme disease is a weaponized set of bacteria, parasites, viruses and other organisms, it is important to understand how the disease has been armed against antibiotics, the first line of defense most traditional doctors employ to address the disease.
While antibiotic therapy is mostly effective at curbing the potential for chronic infection by eliminating rickettsiales from spreading in the first 60 days of infection, it is does not seem to be effective at completely eradicating infection once it has mutated beyond early infection. In fact, longterm antibiotic treatment (especially antibiotics that are not rotated or "pulsed") begin to cause harm to the patient by creating imbalances in the gut biome and elsewhere.
During a presentation I attended that Dr. Lee Cowden gave in Harrisburg, PA in December of 2016, Cowden showed the audience a slide of a borellia burgdorferi spirochete with a few buds or cysts attached (see attached photo). He told us this was a spirochete that had been exposed to antibiotics in the bloodstream a few hours before. It was beginning to mutate, and the next thing that would happen, he said, is the longer body would die but the little cysts would eventually detach and become new spirochetes. They would travel throughout the body and leave the bloodstream, which is the place where antibiotics are most effective. He said that this is why it is not recommended to treat Lyme patients with antibiotics for any length of time after 60 days of infection onset. The antibiotics make the bacteria go into a hyper reproductive state, flee the bloodstream, and create biofilm defenses -- a mucous-like shield that further renders antibiotics ineffective.
I had heard Lyme and co-infections described as “antibiotic resistant” but I would go a step further and call them “antibiotic intelligent.” It is apparent the scientists at Plum Island were well aware that antibiotics would be the first tool used to fight the disease and they created several genetic mutations the bacteria uses to defend itself. Further, what is being called Lyme disease is not just a set of bacteria that would typically have the potential to be treated by antibiotics. It is now becoming well-known that infected insects spread multiple bacteria, viruses and especially parasites that the spirochetes use to shield themselves from harm. This toxic collection of pathogens interact and run interference for each other during treatment, making the illness extremely difficult to treat with traditional means after it has spread.
Currently the following is true regarding Lyme disease and tick-borne illnesses:
In light of the above, it would seem that there is little hope for patients of the illness, and for those who continue to treat Lyme disease as if it were a typical infectious disease, this might be true. While going to government agencies and petitioning them to change their actions to accommodate the unusual nuances of the disease has the positive side effect of raising public awareness, the frustrating reality is -- because Lyme disease is now known to be created by the government -- it is probably naive to expect it to do the right thing. The glaring truth is, it has not historically done so in the past. And waiting for it to do the right thing can have a harmful effect on the millions of patients who are already suffering from the disease.
It is also becoming more clear that patients who rely on the long-trusted Western medical system to treat Lyme disease like other infectious disease do so at their own risk. The sooner a patient realizes that physicians, treatment guidelines and health insurance support are all geared against their remission, the sooner they can look outside this system for approaches that actually work.
Treatment of chronic Lyme is not a one-size-fits-all proposition. Sympathetic physicians and patients are finding that the treatment combinations that work effectively tend to be customized to the patient and his/her set of symptoms and co-infections. It is important that a patient realizes that the scenario they've experienced in the past of diagnosis/treatment/cure for acute illnesses will not be the same straight line with chronic Lyme. Further confusing is the fact that because antibiotics are prescribed and proven effective in treating early-onset Lyme, many physicians prescribe antibiotics-only treatments to their chronic Lyme patients. These patients may experience some early symptom relief, but many cannot tolerate antibiotics alone or find that they need to continue treatment when their symptoms return weeks, months or years later. The patients who are reportedly reaching complete healing move to all-natural and herbal remedies to remove the pathogens with a combination of detoxifiers that allow them to eliminate toxins from their system. At this point, it can be an important move for a patient to do their own research and find the treatment combinations that work for them.
The good news is there are a set of natural, all-herbal treatments that have high success rates in individuals who continue to treat for extended periods of at least six months. The Beyond Balance, Buhner, Cowden and Zhang protocols all have reported success rates from patients who did not respond to antibiotic treatment.
And while most patients can expect minimal financial and medical support from insurance companies and government agencies, a collection of private nonprofits have been developed to help these patients from falling through the cracks.
There is a saying that it is easier to create a new system than repairing a broken one, and in this case -- with all of the implications of government tampering -- it seems to be more true than ever.