Lyme disease risk continues to spread in Michigan


Several Mid-Michigan counties are now characterized as having a potential risk for Lyme disease, according to the State of Michigan 2018 risk map.

And Iosco County has a known risk for the disease.

>>Slideshow: Michigan ticks<<

Lyme disease is transmitted by the blacklegged tick and the disease is spreading across the state.

Now Bay, Genesee, Shiawassee, Gratiot, Huron, Arenac, Ogemaw, Oscoda, and Alcona Counties are considered at potential risk for Lyme disease. That means they are adjacent to a county and/or blacklegged ticks but are not infected with the Lyme disease bacteria.

Blacklegged ticks were first detected in 2002 along the west coast of the state. Since that time they have spread northward along the Lake Michigan coast. The Upper Peninsula has also been hard-hit, experts say that’s due to the proximity to Wisconsin.

After Long Winter, Explosion Of Lyme Disease-Carrying Ticks Expected

MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) — It appears we are not the only ones excited about the warmer weather.

So are deer ticks.

The first ones of the season were spotted on April 12 in Dakota County.

Local experts believe we will see an abundance of deer ticks soon because of the unusual spring weather we’ve had.

As you may know, deer ticks transmit Lyme disease.

Ben Kyle, a singer and songwriter for the folk rock group Romantica, know what it’s like to live with Lyme disease.

As a father of five, he recalls when the symptoms were so bad, he couldn’t interact with his kids.

“The whole time you feel like life is just slipping away from you,” he said.

Ben says his immune system and neurological functions were affected, leaving him with body aches, memory loss, and the inability to work on a computer or use a phone.

“It was like something pulling on my brain, my biology all the time and I couldn’t have normal interactions with people or conversations,” Kyle said. “It was afflicting me all the time.”

He doesn’t remember being bitten by a deer tick, but they are the only ticks that spread Lyme disease.

In the Twin Cities, deer ticks are currently out and they’re hungry after being insulated under a thick blanket of snow in mid-April.

A manager with the Metropolitan Mosquito Control District says she anticipates a large number of deer ticks will burst upon the scene all at once, rather than trickling out in waves.

That means it’s time to be alert when we’re out in the woods and brush and aware of just how serious Lyme disease can be.

“I went through two years of having barely any relief from the symptoms,” Kyle said, adding that he is finding success with a homeopathic remedy, and feeling much better now.

Typically what doctors do after a Lyme disease diagnosis is prescribe antibiotics for a couple of weeks.

In some cases, patients can still have lingering symptoms for months or even years.

At-risk Ohioans encouraged to get hepatitis A vaccination


Cases of hepatitis A have skyrocketed in Ohio and the Department of Health is encouraging at-risk individuals to get vaccinated.

There have been 47 cases of hepatitis A so far in 2018, compared to five cases during the same timeframe in 2017, the Department of Health said in a statement on Thursday.

According to the health department, Hepatitis A is a vaccine-preventable liver disease that usually spreads when a person ingests fecal matter from contact with objects, food, or drinks contaminated by the stool of an infected person.

“The best way to prevent hepatitis A among high-risk individuals is to get vaccinated,”  Medical Director Clint Koenig said. “The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommends the hepatitis A vaccine for all children at age 1 and for at-risk individuals


People at increased risk for hepatitis A include:

  • Those with direct contact with individuals infected with the virus
  • Travelers to countries where the virus is prevalent
  • Men who have sex with men
  • People who use street drugs whether they are injected or not
  • People with blood clotting factor disorders
  • People with chronic liver disease
  • Household members and other close contacts of adopted children newly arrived from countries where hepatitis A is common.

“Ohio has not seen a hepatitis A outbreak so far, which requires at least two cases to be linked to a common exposure source,” the department said. “However, outbreaks are occurring in several states across the U.S., including in neighboring states of Indiana, Kentucky, Michigan and West Virginia. Some of Ohio’s hepatitis A cases are linked to these outbreaks.”

The health department said individuals who believe that they are at high risk for hepatitis A should contact their healthcare provider or local health department for information about vaccination.

Indiana Taco Bell Warns Customers After Worker Diagnosed With Hepatitis A

A southern Indiana Taco Bell is warning customers after a worker was diagnosed with Hepatitis A amid outbreaks in neighboring states.

Taco Bell said in a statement that customers who ate at the Floyds Knobs location between April 1 and April 18 should follow guidance from Floyd County health officials.

That guidance, according to NBC affiliate WTHR, includes getting a Hepatitis A vaccine before April 30 to reduce the chance of infection.

“As soon as the operator of this Floyds Knobs, IN location learned that one of the team members was diagnosed, the franchisee began working closely with Taco Bell as well as health officials,” the statement read. “The restaurant was thoroughly sanitized and all team members will be offered vaccinations.”

The Taco Bell isn’t the first case reported in the state after significant outbreaks were seen in nearby Kentucky and Michigan.

The Floyd County Health Department said it was investigating “several recent cases of Hepatitis A” and was working to identify and notify anyone who might have been exposed.

Another case was confirmed in a food employee at TOMOS Restaurant in New Albany, Indiana. Those who ate at the restaurant on March 23, 24, 26, 28, 30, 31 and April 2 were urged to watch for potential symptoms and seek medical attention.

Indiana health officials are also advising residents to get vaccinated for hepatitis A if their summer plans include visits to Kentucky or Michigan.

The agency says Kentucky has seen more than 300 cases of the highly contagious viral infection , most of those in the Louisville area. Michigan has had more than 800 cases, including 25 deaths.

Indiana typically sees less than 20 hepatitis cases each year, but 77 have been confirmed since January.

Hepatitis A is a “highly contagious” viral infection of the liver and is generally transmitted via fecal and oral routes or by consuming contaminated food or water, health officials said. People can become ill 15 to 150 days after being exposed to the virus.

Symptoms can vary greatly, but may include loss of appetite, nausea, tiredness, fever, stomach ache, dark-colored urine and light-colored stools. Jaundice may appear a few days after the onset of such symptoms, health officials said.

Most people feel sick for several weeks but often recover without lasting liver damage, according to the health department.

State Epidemiologist Pam Pontones says getting vaccinated for hepatitis A and thoroughly washing hands when preparing food are “simple, safe and effective ways” to prevent the spread of hepatitis A.

Hepatitis A cases on the rise in Ohio

XENIA, Ohio (WDTN) – The Ohio Department of Health said Tuesday the state of Ohio is experiencing an increase in the number of reported cases of hepatitis A since January 2018.

Greene County Public Health said currently, Ohio has 31 cases, reported in the first quarter of 2018. This is higher when compared to four cases in 2017, two in 2016, and five in 2015, for this same time period.

Hepatitis A outbreaks are occurring in several states across the US, including several bordering Ohio.

Health officials say some Ohio cases are associated with outbreaks in neighboring states. Officials say outbreaks have been linked to the following risk factors: contact with a known hepatitis A case; homelessness; IV drug use; and men who have sex with men.

Hepatitis A is a vaccine-preventable, communicable disease of the liver caused by the hepatitis A virus. It is usually transmitted person-to-person through contact with an infected person’s stool, or consumption of contaminated food or water.

A confirmed case of hepatitis A includes both a positive laboratory test and symptom onset, with either jaundice or elevated liver function tests.

Greene County Public Health has the following tips.

Contact can occur by:

  • eating food made by an infected person who did not wash his or her hands after using the bathroom
  • drinking untreated water or eating food washed in untreated water
  • placing a finger or an object in your mouth that came into contact with an infected person’s stool
  • having close personal contact with an infected person, such as through sex or caring for someone who is ill

You cannot get hepatitis A from 

  • being coughed on or sneezed on by an infected person
  • sitting next to an infected person
  • hugging an infected person

A baby cannot get hepatitis A from breast milk, according to health officials.

Who is at increased risk for acquiring hepatitis A virus infection?

  • Persons with direct contact with persons who have hepatitis A
  • Travelers to countries with high or intermediate rates of hepatitis A
  • Men who have sex with men
  • Users of injection and non-injection drugs
  • Persons with clotting factor disorders
  • Household members and other close contacts of adopted children newly arriving from countries with high or intermediate hepatitis rates.

What are the symptoms of hepatitis A: 

Some people have symptoms 2 to 6 weeks after they come in contact with the virus. People with hepatitis A typically get better without treatment after a few weeks. In some cases, symptoms can last up to 6 months. These symptoms may include:

  • dark yellow urine
  • feeling tired
  • fever
  • gray- or clay-colored stools
  • joint pain
  • loss of appetite
  • nausea
  • pain in the abdomen
  • vomiting
  • yellowish eyes and skin, called jaundice

Some people infected with hepatitis A have no symptoms, including many children younger than age 6. Older children and adults are more likely to have symptoms.

Turns Out, The Mono Virus Is Worse Than We Thought, According To New Research

If you’ve ever suffered from mononucleosis (commonly known as mono), you know how unpleasant it can be. Sometimes called “the kissing disease,” the mono virus is transmitted through saliva and causes extreme fatigue, sore throat, fever, headache and a skin rash.

Mono actually originates from the Epstein-Barr virus (EBV), and now a new study has shown that it is linked to seven other major diseases: systemic lupus erythematosus, multiple sclerosis, rheumatoid arthritis, juvenile idiopathic arthritis, inflammatory bowel disease, celiac disease and type 1 diabetes. Combined, these diseases affect nearly 8 million people in the United States.

The study was conducted by scientists at Cincinnati Children’s Hospital Medical Center and published in the journal Nature Genetics. Dr. John Harley, director of the Center for Autoimmune Genomics and Etiology (CAGE) at Cincinnati Children’s and a faculty member of the Cincinnati VA Medical Center, led the study.

“Now, using genomic methods that were not available 10 years ago, it appears that components made by the virus interact with human DNA in the places where the genetic risk of disease is increased,” Harley told Science Daily. “And not just for lupus, but all these other diseases, too.”

The EBV virus is extremely common, and once a person is infected, the virus remains with them for their entire life. So far, no vaccine exits to prevent the virus, but scientists are hopeful that their findings will lead to additional studies that could result in prevention methods and therapies in the future.

The scientists also believe the impact of the link will vary across the different diseases. For example, the virus could be linked to  a large percentage of cases of lupus and MS. Their study also has implications beyond the seven new diseases linked to EBV.

“Our study has uncovered potential leads for many other diseases, including breast cancer,” Harley said. “We cannot possibly follow up on all of these, but we are hoping that other scientists will.”

Food worker at Kentucky store diagnosed with hepatitis A

Health officials say the employee prepared food at Ken’s Express Mart in the 900 block of 29th St. and worked from March 22 through April 7 while contagious. Generally, people who are infected with the liver virus can spread it before they begin having symptoms.

It can take as many as 50 days for symptoms to develop after exposure to hepatitis A, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

There is a two-week window for people who are exposed to get the hepatitis A post-exposure vaccine. If the vaccine is given more than 14 days after exposure to the virus, it is not considered effective in preventing the disease.

The last day for customers exposed April 7 at Ken’s Express Mart to receive the post-exposure treatment is April 20. For people exposed between March 30 and April 6, there are fewer days left to obtain the post-exposure vaccine. It is past the two-week window of opportunity for customers who ate food or drank beverages from Ken’s convenience store between March 22 and March 29.

Often food handlers and foodservice workers are not confirmed as being infected until after they have developed symptoms and stopped working. The lag time from diagnosis to confirmation and finally reporting to public health officials frequently results in no opportunity for consumers to seek the post-exposure vaccine.

Erin Crace at the county health department said this case was identified quickly because local hospitals “do a wonderful job about getting us reports really quickly.” The area has seen an increase in cases, recording 23, since the outbreak was confirmed in November.

To prevent infection from future exposure, people should seek immunization. The hepatitis A vaccine was not available until recent years, so most adults have not received it.

Ken’s Express Mart is allowing employees to work there only if they have received the hepatitis A vaccine. In addition, Ken’s Express Mart has been notifying customers of the potential exposure, according to the health department. Local media quoted the owner as saying he began notifying customers of the possible exposure before the virus was confirmed in the employee.

Hepatitis A is usually transmitted person-to-person through the fecal-oral route, which includes consumption of contaminated foods or beverages, according to the CDC.

Most adults have symptoms including fatigue, low appetite, stomach pain, nausea and jaundice that usually resolve within two months of infection. Most children younger than 6 do not have symptoms or have unrecognized infections, but they can spread the virus.

Hepatitis A can live for months outside of the human body.  It can surviving freezing. It is very difficult to kill and most common cleaning fluids are not effective against it. Hand washing with soap and water is a strong defense. Waterless hand sanitizers are not effective at killing the virus.

Anyone who is experiencing symptoms should immediately contact their doctor or seek other medical attention.

Anyone with possible exposure and not experiencing symptoms is encouraged to contact their health care provider or the health department for a post-exposure hepatitis A vaccine.

Kentucky has been hit hard by a Hepatitis A outbreak, logging more than 100 cases and at least one death since November 2017.

Blumenthal: Rate of detection for Lyme disease in ticks increased

NEW HAVEN – Sen. Richard Blumenthal is warning residents to avoid ticks at all costs due to the painful diseases that they can carry, including Lyme disease.

“The season for Lyme is expanding, partly as a result of climate change, partly as a result of the greater incidents of Lyme in ticks,” said Blumenthal.

Blumenthal says that the rate of detection for Lyme disease in ticks has increased from 27 percent to 38 percent in the last year, and that the likelihood of contracting one of these infectious agents is quite high.

The Connecticut Agricultural Experiment Station in New Haven, which test several thousand ticks every year, says early testing shows a typical season.

The high risk period for ticks is between mid-May to mid-July, according to Dr. Theodore Andreadis.

“Over 50 percent of the ticks being brought in by the public are infected with one of three different organisms that we screen for,” he said.

Officials say the first 30 days after being bitten are critical.

Experts say with warmer weather coming, it’s important to be prepared. This includes wearing the right clothing, using insect repellant, avoiding high grasses and checking for ticks.

Experts also say its important to submit ticks for testing.

Diagnosis of antiphospholipid syndrome?

Have you been diagnosed with having APS? We are currently looking for candidates to participate in a plasmapheresis program designed for patients with this disorder/diagnosis.  Participants are needed to donate plasma that is being used to create reagents/controls for the very test kit(s) that were used in your diagnosis.

Plasma is a crucial part of the manufacturing of the most up to date test kits to ensure that when hospitals, healthcare providers and laboratories are testing patients they can do so in a timely fashion.  Your plasma is needed to help researchers in the quest for better testing and research into the disease.

Participants who participate are compensated for their time and donation and you can earn $300-$500 each time you donate and you can safely donate 2x per week.  If we have to travel you to a location all travel related expenses are paid by us and you still earn your compensation for each visit at your visit.

To learn more please visit us a or call us at 800-510-4003 to discuss it further.

Current antibodies needed: Anti-Cardiolipin (IgG/IgA/IgM) and Anti-Beta-2 Glycoprotein (IgG, IgA, IgM)

To Qualify:

  1. Must be 18-65 years in age and weigh at least 110lbs or more
  2. Must have or have access to your blood test results showing your antibody levels
  3. MUST be HIV/HCV and HBV negative