Sunday 7 March 2010

Lyme Disease: A government mistake becomes a spreading epidemic?

"There's no medicine for someone like you."

Quoting from the information accompanying the trailer (see below) this is "a dramatic tale of microbes, medicine & money, this eye-opening film investigates the untold story of Lyme disease, an emerging epidemic larger than AIDS. Each year thousands go undiagnosed or misdiagnosed, told that their symptoms are 'all in their head.'

Following the stories of patients and physicians as they battle for their lives and livelihoods, this film brings into focus a haunting picture of the American health care system and its inability to cope with a silent terror under our skin."

Whatever you may think about the controversial Lyme Disease yourself, it is undisputed that "Under Our Skin" is a documentary making a significant impact on its viewers around the world:

Here are some additional FACTS worth contemplating:

1. Lyme disease did not start appearing until the mid-1970s.

2. It's one of the fastest growing infectious diseases in the US.

3. It's first recorded outbreak was in Old Lyme, Connecticut.

4. Old Lyme, CT is directly across Long Island sound from Plum Island which for years the US government claimed was an entirely benign livestock disease research center.

5. Characteristically, the federal government lied about the fact that biological warfare experiments were conducted on the island for decades. They were forced to give up this charade in 1993 when Newsday unearthed documents about Plum Island proving otherwise.

6. Extensive experiments were conducted on Plum Island that involved creating diseases and infecting ticks with them - all in the name of protecting America's livestock.

7. Like many clandestine research programs, Plum Island appears to have had former Nazi scientists in the role of advisors, specifically Dr. Erich Traub, who was in charge of the Third Reich's virological and bacteriological warfare program in World War II.

[If you have trouble believing that the US would employ Nazi war criminals after World War II, do some basic homework. Nazi scientists received a warm welcome in US aerospace and biological and chemical warfare programs. The US also actively recruited Japanese war criminals for this purpose. (Source) ]

8. To highlight how controversial this really is, a 2008 article in the New England Journal of Medicine argued that media coverage of chronic Lyme disease ignored scientific evidence in favor of anecdotes and testimonials:

"The media frequently disregard complex scientific data in favor of testimonials about patients suffering from purported chronic Lyme disease and may even question the competence of clinicians who are reluctant to diagnose chronic Lyme disease. All these factors have contributed to a great deal of public confusion with little appreciation of the serious harm caused to many patients who have received a misdiagnosis and have been inappropriately treated."

9. The 2008 film Under Our Skin: The Untold Story of Lyme Disease opened June 19, 2009 in New York City. This documentary, made by a director whose sister contracted the disease, argues that chronic lyme disease conditions do exist. It's making people like me do a little more investigating for themselves.

10. Lyme Disease was the focus of a major recent feature in The Times (London) - February 2010 which details the impact the disease has had on British author Alex Wade.

Do your own investigation, then decide for yourself what has merit.


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