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Summer is Lyme Season – What That Means for Disability Claims

Wednesday, July 3rd, 2019

A mild winter is usually followed by an increase in the number of ticks in the spring and summer. This summer, the number of ticks that carry several disease have increased, as have the number of ticks infected with diseases that threaten humans.

Tick crawling on a human arm

In addition to Lyme, people need to know about the Powassan virus, a life-threatening virus transmitted by three different types of ticks, including the deer tick that transmits Lyme disease. The number of cases in the US have been on the increase for the past ten years.

In a report from CNN, Dr. Jennifer Lyons, chief of the Division of Neurological Infections and Inflammatory Diseases at Brigham and Women’s Hospital in Boston, said that about 15% of patients who are infected with Powassan and have symptoms will not survive. Anyone who suspects they may have been bitten by a tick should immediately get tested for both Lyme and Powassan. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention says that many people who become infected with the Powassan viruses do not develop symptoms. Those who do develop symptoms may experience fever, headache, vomiting, weakness, confusion, loss of coordination, speech difficulties and seizures.

Good News About Lyme Disease

There’s good news about Lyme disease coming from Virginia Tech, where a biochemist has discovered the cellular cause of the arthritis caused by Lyme disease that could lead to its eventual prevention.

Biochemist Brandon Jutras and his team found that as the bacteria that cause Lyme disease multiply, they shed the molecule peptidoglycan, which then seeps into the joints. Some patients then experience an antibody reaction that creates swelling in the joints, especially in the knees.

Lyme arthritis is a late-stage symptom of Lyme disease and effects from the disease often linger for many years, long after the bacterium are treated with antibiotics.
The study, published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, could be a key to diagnosing and treating Lyme disease, as well as Lyme arthritis.

What about Lyme Disease, Powassan Disease and Disability Claims?

Lyme disease is a frequent cause for disability claims, and one that is often difficult for claimants. The symptoms vary widely, as does the intensity of the disease. One person could have Lyme disease one summer and experience debilitating arthritis for years afterwards. Another could have Lyme disease and never know it because of a complete lack of symptoms.

Frankel & Newfield represents many people with Lyme disease and its aftereffects. We are experienced with the techniques, tactics and strategies used by the disability insurance companies who are trying to minimize their exposure to an illness that effect around 300,000 people every year, according to The Centers for Disease Control.

If you have been diagnosed with Lyme Disease or any tick-borne disease and are no longer able to work, call our office at 877-583-2524. Learn how we can help.

Justin C Frankel

Written By:

Justin C. Frankel - Disability Insurance Attorney

Justin Frankel is a founding partner of the disability insurance law firm Frankel & Newfield and is a highly skilled litigator and advocate. He has published numerous articles on the challenges facing clients with private or individual disability insurance policies and those who own group or ERISA disability insurance policies.

Learn more about Justin | See Justin’s Publications



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