NPR reports today on a variant of Lyme disease that has different symptoms, and is caused by a different, related, newly discovered bacterium.
Instead of the bullseye rash, patients get diffuse or spotty rashes, and also get nausea and vomiting. One child was unable to wake from sleep. An adult had double vision.
Mayo Clinic isolated a new bacterium associated with the new variant of Lyme disease that causes these symptoms, B. Mayonii (not B. Borgdorferi as in the usual Lyme disease). The bacterium has been found in six Lyme disease patients in Wisconsin, Minnesota and North Dakota, and in black legged ticks in two parts of Wisconsin.
Since I know of six orienteers who were diagnosed with Lyme disease, it seems like a disease worth being aware of...one of the few ailments that orienteers seem particularly prone to, and a potentially very serious one. The new symptoms seem worth being aware of if you live or orienteer in the north central United States, or nearby regions that it may someday spread to.
Just a heads up.
MC identified 6 cases of the new variant from a review of 9000 confirmed cases of Lyme diagnosed between 2012 and 2014. So this bug has been out there for a while. I'm curious how many cases have gone undiagnosed because of the diffuse rash. They say the current test for Lyme will detect this variant, but with 'abnormal' results. I did not see a definition of 'abnormal'. Definitely good to be aware of, thanks.