Carol (Missy) Cohen MPH, CHHC

Not Everyone Gets Lyme Disease from a Tick Bite!


I was one of the “lucky” ones. My massage therapist found a tick on my back and 10 days later, to the day, I had  flu-like symptoms.  I was achy, feverish, extremely fatigued and had a bad headache. Normally this is something that I would just suffer through and deal with but it was August and I had just heard my acupuncturist talk about Lyme a few weeks previously. I dragged my body to the nearest minute-clinic where the nurse took one look at the bulls-eye rash on my back and informed me that I do, indeed, have Lyme disease.

But not everyone can identify a tick bite and NOT EVERYONE GETS LYME DISEASE FROM A TICK BITE!

But, here’s the kicker. After 30 days of doxycycline, an antibiotic given to fight the bacteria that causes Lyme, I felt better but still not great. Truth be told, I can’t remember a time in my life when I ever felt truly well. As a kid, I would never want to go on fieldtrips or do anything out of my routine because I knew that it would knock me out and that I would need a nap afterward. I cannot remember a time in my life when I did not have extreme fatigue.

The acupuncturist feels that I had a very violent reaction to the tick bite and thinks it is completely possible that I have actually been suffering with Lyme Disease for a very long time but did not know it.

And… here is the public service announcement.

Something very few people realize is Lyme Disease does NOT have to come from a tick bite!

The CDC would have you believe this but their information is outdated. Research has been done that indicates that the bacteria that causes Lyme Disease can be transmitted in a variety of ways. Lyme can be transmitted from spiders. The tick is an arthropod; as are spiders. You may also get the bacteria from a mosquito bite.

Borrelia burgdorferi, is a spirochete. Another commonly known spirochete is the bacteria that causes syphilis, a disease that is sexually transmitted. There have been studies done that demonstrate that couples have the same strain of B. burgdorferi, the bacteria that is associated with Lyme Disease, which demonstrates that it has been passed from partner to partner. In addition, the bacteria has been found in both vaginal and seminal secretions. 1

Another common source of transmission is the excretion from birds. Birds commonly eat ticks. The bacteria consumed in the tick goes into an encysted form that protects it. It travels through the birds digestive track and is put back into the environment through their excretions. As Dr. Stephen Buhner, author of Healing Lyme: Natural Healing of Lyme Borreliosis and the Coinfections Chlamydia and Spotted Fever Rickettsioses, like to say, “Do you have a bird feeder?” If you are being exposed to bird poop, you are being exposed to the bacteria responsible for Lyme Disease.

Because Lyme Disease is easily transmittable, it is NOT limited to certain geographical locations. In this day in age, anyone can hop on an airplane and travel anywhere in the world. Do not anyone tell you that just because you do not live in the Northeast, that you cannot get Lyme Disease. This is simple not true!

Only you know when you do not feel well. Do not let a doctor tell you that you are “fine.” If they are not willing to work with you, find someone who is! And, no matter if you have Lyme Disease or some other condition, an anti-inflammatory diet and building your immune system are two great ways to start your journey back to health.

  1. The Journal of Investigative Medicine 2014;62:280-281


Leave a comment