Lyme Disease expert to lead off speakers bureau

Posted Feb 3, 2011

DENTON Maryland has announced the first speaker in its new physicians speaker series.

Speaking on the topic of "Lyme Disease and Other Tick Borne Diseases" will be Cheryl Ortel, M.D., a "Lyme Disease Literate Physician," who will speak at Homestead Manor Feb. 17 from 7 p.m. to 8:30 p.m.

Who should attend? Gardeners, hunters, farmers, pet owners, those who enjoy the outdoors and anyone wanting to know more about Lyme disease. Lyme disease is highly prevalent on the Eastern Shore and is one of the fastest growing infectious diseases in the nation.

Ortel is a member of the Board of Mid-Shore Lyme Disease Association, Inc. and trained with Dr. Joseph J. Burrascano, Jr., author of the International Lyme and Associated Diseases Society.

Ortel specializes in gynecology with an emphasis on midlife care at her practice located in Easton. She lectures to educate the public on Lyme Disease as a community service.

"Dr Ortel's expertise on the subject is well known among our staff, and we are delighted that she is available to be our first speaker in this free community-education opportunity," said Linda Evans, director of community relations for Homestead Manor. The event is free and open to the public and will be held at Homestead Manor, Assisted Living, 410 Colonial Drive, Denton, MD. To register for the Lyme Disease Seminar or to arrange a private tour of Homestead Manor, call 410-479-2273 or 410-253-7700.

Link to Article

Star Democrat

Lyme disease expert speaks in Denton


Dr. Cheryl Ortel

Dr. Cheryl Ortel shares her extensive knowledge of the effects of Lyme Disease, which is becoming more common on the Eastern Shore.

Posted: Wednesday, February 23, 2011 12:00 am |


DENTON Easton doctor Cheryl Ortel spoke Feb. 17 on Lyme disease, which she said is widespread on the Eastern Shore.

Her lecture was the first in a series of lectures to be offered by Homestead Manor Assisted Living in its new speakers bureau.

Administrator Elizabeth Midiri, and Linda Evans, director of community relations, welcomed Dr. Ortel.

Evans prefaced Ortel's speech by saying if you "are a gardener, pet owner, farmer, or anyone who likes to be outside, you have come to the right place."

Ortel, a gynecologist, is on the board of directors of the Mid-Shore Lyme Disease Association. She said she became interested in Lyme disease awareness when she started noticing patients were complaining of symptoms of infectious diseases, primarily Lyme disease.

Lyme disease was first noticed in 1860 in Long Island, N.Y., and labeled "Montauk Knee" after the painful swelling of the knee joints by local farmers. It is mostly transmitted by the common deer tick and the Lone Star tick, which was originally found in Texas and Oklahoma, but has now spread to New York, Pennsylvania, Maryland and Virginia, and can be found in all 50 states and on four continents.

Maryland is considered a highly endemic state, meaning it is becoming more and more common. In fact, it is the fastest growing disease in the country, and the Centers for Disease Control could, by its own projections, underestimate cases by at least 90 percent.

Deer are not the only carriers of ticks; other tick-carrying animals include raccoons, birds, mice, rabbits, chipmunks, pets and lizards.

When a tick attaches itself to mammal, it not only drinks blood, but it also regurgitates bacteria into the blood stream. The spirochetes, spiral-shaped bacteria, swirl into the blood stream, invading and killing healthy cells in the immune system.

Spirochetes find hiding places in bodies where they can't be easily found: inside cells, ligaments and tendons, eyes, the brain, central nervous system, gallbladder, joints, muscles and the bladder. Some people believe that once bitten by a tick, they can never be infected again. The opposite is true: each subsequent tick bite increases your chance of getting more spirochetes, virulent or powerful strains of tick-borne diseases, and co-infections of other diseases.

Lyme disease is often misdiagnosed for a number of reasons, including its symptomatic similarity to some other illnesses, such as fibromyalgia, multiple sclerosis, chronic fatigue syndrome, Alzheimer's and Lupus.

Symptoms can include extreme fatigue, migrating joint pain, chest pain and palpitations, headaches, flu-like symptoms, palsy-like symptoms, aches or stiffness in muscles, dizziness, poor concentration, forgetfulness, eye pain or blurred vision, mood swings, depression, swollen glands and throat, and nausea and vomiting. About a third of patients have a red bullseye-like rash.

If caught early, antibiotics can help. Blood tests can miss up to about 75 percent of cases, Ortel said, so a clinical diagnosis by a physician is your best defense.

If you have been diagnosed, get plenty of rest, and avoid caffeine and alcohol consumption. When the bacteria are combined with alcohol it creates a toxin that is very harmful to the body.

Ortel especially cautioned the elderly not to shrug off any symptoms normally associated with "old age" and to be routinely checked by a physician.

Ortel cautioned of certain risk factors for humans: pets that go indoors and out, gardening, farming, hunting, fishing and horseback riding are just a few, she said.

People can take many preventative measures to protect themselves and their loved ones:

Pull socks up over pant legs while outside.

• Wear light-colored clothing so ticks can be detected easier.

• Wear hats and clothing treated with insect repellent.

• Do tick-checks while outside and when returning home.

• Put clothes in the dryer on hot for one hour before washing them. Ticks can hide in the washer and climb out.

• Shower and carefully check ears, head, neck, groin and hairline.

• Avoid walking in tall grass, or sitting directly on the ground or stone walls.

• Create a "safe zone" around the home: keep bird feeders away from the home, put up a deer fence, make a perimeter of wood chips and gravel between lawn and woods and fields.

• Do not place swing sets, play structures, or picnic tables under trees or low-hanging branches.

• Remove woodpiles and brush from your yard.

• Use Frontline products on your pets.

• Look for and use products like Deet, Sevin, Buzz Away Extreme, Sawyer insect repellent, Ultrathon, and Permanone.

In case of a tick bite:

• Remove the tick with tweezers, never by hand.

• Grab the tick by the head and/or mouth. Don't squeeze the tick's body or it could burst.

• Pull the tick slowly and steadily outward, don't twist it or it could break off.

• Wash hands and wound thoroughly with soap and water.

• NEVER try to remove a tick with soap, Vaseline, alcohol, a lit match, kerosene, or any other substance. That actually irritates the tick and causes it to regurgitate or spit more saliva into the bite wound.

For more information, call the Lyme Disease Toll-Free information line at 1-888-366-6611 or www.LymeDisease Association.orgPosted in Local news on Wednesday, February 23, 2011 12:00 am. Updated: 8:36 am. | Tags: News, Easton Doctor, Cheryl Ortel, Spoke Feb. 17 On Lyme Disease, Widespread On The Eastern Shore, Lecture, First In A Series, Offered By Homestead Manor Assisted Living, New Speakers Bureau, Administrator Elizabeth Midiri, Linda Evans, Director Of Community Relations | Location Tags: Denton

Last Updated- April 2019

Lucy Barnes