List of Some Concerns About the CDC/DHMH Tick Study
1. The CDC and DHMH do not have a good record of performing useful or timely studies, or following though with their own stated missions/goals and laws/regulations regarding Lyme and tick borne diseases. Example- why did DHMH not enter 5,722 reported cases of Lyme disease into their data base in 2009 and even more since then (claiming in part not enough staff), but they have enough people to work on this project? More information: https://sites.google.com/site/marylandlyme/political-action/underreporting-in-maryland
2. Environmental concerns with bifenthrin pesticide use. Most people contracting Lyme disease (approx. 200 per day in Maryland) are those who are interested in protecting the environment as much as possible. They have sincere concerns about this pesticide affecting the Chesapeake Bay and killing the dwindling number of honey bees and other wildlife, and the long-term effects of this pesticide on humans and the earth in general.
3. It will be several years until this study is concluded and published. It is already known this pesticide will kill ticks. Since it kills ticks, a reduced exposure risk is already a "given". Concerns stem deep about wasted tax-dollars on this project. People need a cure for Lyme disease, and at the very least a Lyme diagnostic test that is accurate. When people enrolled in ANY study are evaluated with Lyme tests known to be inaccurate, this will skew the study results- giving an inaccurate conclusion and false sense of security. That is not helpful to residents and can be dangerous to their health.
4. An unknown number of people will have access to our resident's personal medical records. Medical records and data have been used by government officials to investigate and bring charges against doctors treating Lyme disease patients past the 2-3 weeks recommended by the Infectious Diseases Society of America (IDSA) guidelines. We have lost a number of good doctors for this reason in the past. Most current Lyme patients do not want to risk losing their doctors or not having access to adequate treatment in the future by participating in the CDC/DOH studies.
5. If you unknowingly get a placebo (water spray) rather than the actual chemical it can give the sense of false-protection, as was seen when people had the failed Lyme-Rix vaccine. People tend to think they can not get bitten (due to spraying) and if they do, they will not get Lyme disease (vaccine perception).
6. Most people leave their yards and will travel into areas not sprayed with chemicals (parks, picnics, friends yards, etc), especially in the summer. This can negatively affect study results.
7. Ground water contamination- this chemical can leak into it posing a risk to humans and the planet. http://www.cdc.gov/ticknet/ltdps/
8. The CDC and Maryland DHMH state they are NOT responsible for damages caused to those participating in this study. "CDC and your State Health Department cannot offer referrals, treatment, or compensation if you are injured (or experience a temporary side effect from exposure to bifenthrin) from being in this study." http://www.cdc.gov/ticknet/ltdps/
9. Yale University is involved in this study. Yale has doctors (like a few at Johns Hopkins) who do not believe there is such a thing as "chronic Lyme disease", and believe people don't die from Lyme disease, and that the tests for Lyme are accurate. They testify against sick Lyme patients and Lyme-treating doctors in court related proceedings and have made life miserable for countless thousands of people. Yale’s involvement is not a positive endorsement for this or any study.
10. The Connecticut side of this study (DOH officials and doctors) possibly has one of the worst records as far as making positive changes and progress in the effort to reduce the cases of Lyme disease and making positive changes for the better. See #9.
11. The CT officials and some doctors have a well-known history of "undiagnosing" Lyme disease cases. Some have gone so far as to undiagnosed people who have died from Lyme disease by using death certificates only (no medical records- autopsy, etc). IF a case of Lyme is diagnosed in a human residing in the sprayed area by a local doctor, the results can be disregarded by the officials as has happened in the past. This practice skews the study results.
12. The Gibson Island study is a good example of why many Lyme patients do not want to participate in the tick study. The conclusions were not only condescending, they were wrong. Lyme disease IS a problem on Gibson Island. Trying to convince people they are safe in an area infested with ticks, when they are not safe, is not acceptable and is an insult to their intelligence, as well as a waste of time and money.