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Monday, March 27, 2023
ArlingtonOpinionLetter: We must pay attention to Lyme disease

Letter: We must pay attention to Lyme disease

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Editor: Over the past year, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reported 476,000 cases of Lyme disease, the largest population being children ages 3-14.

Unfortunately, there is a lack of education for children in their schools and communities about tick-borne diseases. Children have lost their lives due to improper, inaccurate diagnoses.

For example, in Winchester, a toddler passed away from Rocky Mountain Spotted Fever following a tick bite. The child’s parents asked if the child could have been exposed to Lyme disease, only to be instructed to go home and give the child Tylenol and bedrest. Their son died six days later.

If only the physician had properly diagnosed the toddler, the child would still be alive today.


We hear these stories frequently. The National Capital Lyme Disease Association (NatCapLyme) feels strongly about educating children about Lyme and tick-borne diseases. Children make wonderful teachers and parents make great students.

A quick Google search for “children’s Lyme education” will leave you at a loss. Shockingly, most school curriculums do not include Lyme and tick-borne disease education, despite this growing epidemic.

Out of necessity, a group of teachers, parents and advocates came together to create an educational and awareness series that could easily be used to teach children, their families and the community at large about tick-borne disease awareness and prevention. It can be found at www.tickbusters.org, and we hope it draws attention to this important matter.

Monte Skall, executive director, National Capital Lyme Disease Association

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