Baltimore Sun


May 08, 2005

Lyme disease can be misdiagnosed

Lyme disease is a bacterial infection resulting from the bite of the deer tick. If the bite is followed by a rash with a bull's-eye pattern, you may have the disease. Early diagnosis and treatment with an oral antibiotic is simple, quick and inexpensive.

Often, however, the problem is misdiagnosed. Sometimes people don't find the rash. Diagnostic labs often return blood tests to the doctor with a false-negative reading. That's what happened to me in August 2002. My family doctor declared that I did not have Lyme disease and referred me to a rheumatologist who treated me for the next 13 months. My condition became markedly worse.

Finally I was referred to the Tick Borne Disease Center of Southeastern Pennsylvania in Chadds Ford. On my first visit to the center, the joint pain was so severe, I could barely walk. I was saddened to learn that there were many others like me who had been misdiagnosed by previous doctors.

At the center I was properly diagnosed, and nurses trained in intravenous therapy instructed me in the use of IV antibiotics. The center has an infusion room and accepts medical insurance. Chadds Ford is a little more than an hour's drive north of the Conowingo Dam.

It has been three months and the inflammation and pain in my joints have gradually disappeared. It is much easier getting around. It is the loneliest feeling in the world when you are sick and can't find anyone to help you.

Samuel W. Jones

Forest Hill

Suburban deer hunt seeks to protect kids, not flowers


October 20, 1999

Suburban deer hunt seeks to protect kids, not flowers

The recent publicity regarding the deer cull on my property calls for a response ("Neighbors concerned by deer hunt permit," Oct. 11).

I am not holding this hunt because of plant and shrub damage, though we and our neighbors have experienced substantial losses through the years.

I am taking this step because my grandson contracted Lyme disease this summer while living with us.

He was hospitalized for six days and endured terrible pain. He was unable to use his arm and was on intravenous medication day and night.

Lyme disease is a debilitating illness which, if not quickly diagnosed and treated, can be extremely harmful for years. It is primarily carried by the deer tick.

The deer herd in the area has greatly increased over the past years. It is more than just a nuisance. It is a public health hazard.

It is regrettably necessary to manage the herd to safeguard the health of our children and other area residents. I cannot understand why anyone would value the life of a deer over the life of a child.

It is unfortunate that Baltimore County is not doing a better job managing the herd. Official inaction is forcing individuals like me to take the necessary steps to protect our health and property.

Paula Farbman Baltimore

Homeowners must act to control herds of deer

The Friedmans of Pikesville are correct that people have destroyed much of our wildlife habitat ("Killing the deer is not the answer," letters, Oct. 16) .

But somehow the deer population has increased dramatically. They face virtually no predators and thrive on our shrubs, flowers and vegetable gardens.

Unless you've experienced large herds of deer in your neighborhood, you cannot appreciate the damage they do.

Until we installed deer fencing on our property, we had deer spending the night on our front lawn, and having breakfast on our azaleas, tulips, hosta and whatever else appealed to them.

They are comfortable around people, not bothered by dogs and difficult to discourage.

It is almost impossible to talk to anyone in our area who has not struck a deer with his car or had a close call.

Lyme disease, caused by deer ticks, is increasing, making the presence of deer in our back yards more dangerous.

They must be controlled and hunting is the logical means.

The argument that dead deer on front lawns may traumatize our children is far-fetched. Responsible bow hunters would certainly not leave their kill behind.

Yes, we do need better ways to manage our environment, and perhaps bow hunters in a residential area seem absurd, but the problem is serious.

In this case, killing is the answer -- through regulated, controlled hunting.

Pat Schwartz Glen Arm

I take issue with The Sun's editorial "Deer kill in my back yard" (Oct. 12).

For some of us who have lived in suburbia for many years, occasional appearances of deer on our streets and yards were once welcome.

But now, instead of occasional visits from single Bambis, we are now trying to shoo away herds of them daily.

Deer are ravaging our gardens and pose hazards to motorists on quiet streets; instances of Lyme disease, caused by ticks deer carry, are also rising.

Fearful, frustrated suburbanites have every right to protect their properties by culling these herds, as long as they don't jeopardize anyone else.

Henry W. Eisner Baltimore

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Last Updated- April 2019

Lucy Barnes