“Bitten” Book Review

The debate over the prevalence of Lyme disease and whether it exists in a chronic form has raged for decades. Kris Newby’s well researched book provides documented evidence that the suspicions of disease sufferers, their advocates, and treating physicians deserve investigation. The properties of the pathogen itself and its ally, the tick, appear to be part of our nation’s biowarfare studies.

Swiss American scientist Willy Burgdorfer is acclaimed for identifying the spirochetal bacteria which causes Lyme disease. Indeed, the pathogen bears his name, Borrelia burgdorferi. Yet as the author discloses through filmed interviews and archival reviews, there were other aspects to Willy’s research. Employed by the US government and headquartered at Rocky Mountain Laboratories, Burgdorfer was enmeshed in biological warfare projects.  Ms. Newby discusses his work in Switzerland for the American government which led to the identification of a new strain of Ricketttsia, a pathogen if crossed with Borrelia might well complicate treatment and thus be a candidate for biowarfare.  Interviews by Ms. Newby with American researchers on the topic of the Rickettsia, dubbed the Swiss agent by Dr. Burgdorfer, did not shed any light on the mystery pathogen whose existence seems to be buried in the past.

Ms. Newby’s discovery of tick drops and the experimental release of ticks document ongoing biowarfare research and questions the consequences if studies go awry. The prevalence of new diseases and the expansion of tick territories are examined in the context of now revealed government studies.

Ultimately, whatever mix of causes is responsible for the Lyme and other tick-borne diseases epidemic in the US, the solutions, as strongly stated by Kris Newby, lie with better science, advanced research and proper funding.  

Click here for YouTube video of Under Our Skin, Director, Andy Abrams and Kris Newby discussing her new book.

Click here to purchase Bitten on amazon.com

Click here for other purchasing options of Bitten on HarperCollins.com


Conquering Lyme Disease. Science Bridges the Great Divide

By Brian A. Fallon, MD, and Jennifer Sotsky, MD. Published December 2017

Fallon ConqueringLymeDisease lo

“Winner, 2019 Choice Outstanding Academic Title”

From Columbia University Press website:

Lyme disease is the most common tick-borne illness in the United States, with more than 300,000 cases diagnosed each year. However, doctors are deeply divided on how to diagnose and treat it, giving rise to the controversy known as the “Lyme Wars.” Firmly entrenched camps have emerged, causing physicians, patient communities, and insurance providers to be pitted against one another in a struggle to define Lyme disease and its clinical challenges. Health care providers may not be aware of its diverse manifestations or the limitations of diagnostic tests. Meanwhile, patients have felt dismissed by their doctors and confused by the conflicting opinions and dubious self-help information found online.

In this authoritative book, the Columbia University Medical Center physicians Brian A. Fallon and Jennifer Sotsky explain that, despite the vexing “Lyme Wars,” there is cause for both doctors and patients to be optimistic. The past decade’s advances in precision medicine and biotechnology are reshaping our understanding of Lyme disease and accelerating the discovery of new tools to diagnose and treat it, such that the great divide previously separating medical communities is now being bridged. Drawing on both extensive clinical experience and cutting-edge research, Fallon, Sotsky, and their colleagues present these paradigm-shifting breakthroughs in language accessible to both sides. They clearly explain the immunologic, infectious, and neurologic basis of chronic symptoms, the cognitive and psychological impact of the disease, as well as current and emerging diagnostic tests, treatments, and prevention strategies. Written for the educated patient and health care provider seeking to learn more, Conquering Lyme Disease gives an up-to-the-minute overview of the science that is transforming the way we address this complex illness. It argues forcefully that the expanding plague of Lyme and other tick-borne diseases can be confronted successfully and may soon even be reversed.

About the Author
Brian A. Fallon, MD, is director of the Lyme and Tick-Borne Diseases Research Center at the Columbia University Medical Center.

Jennifer Sotsky, MD, is a physician with a specialty in narrative medicine. She is a resident at Columbia University Medical Center.

For more information click here – Columbia University Press

Lyme: The First Epidemic of Climate Change

Lyme: The First Epidemic of Climate Change by Pfeiffer By Mary Beth Pfeiffer. (for general release Feb. 8, 2018)  Publication Date: April 17, 2018

Lyme: The First Epidemic of Climate Change documents the human contribution to the dangerous spread of Lyme disease to dozens of countries and multitudes of people. In a book based firmly in science, author Mary Beth Pfeiffer shows ticks climbing mountains and crossing borders as temperatures rise and ecosystems altered. As important, Pfeiffer challenges medical dogma that has left many untreated. Lyme makes a powerful case for action to combat ticks, address patient pain, and recognize humanity’s role in creating an epidemic.

From Kirkus Reviews:
An alert about the dangers of Lyme disease and other tick-borne infections. Veteran investigative reporter Pfeiffer (Crazy in America: The Hidden Tragedy of our Criminalized Mentally Ill, 2007) lives in New York state, not far from the Connecticut town that gave its name to a bacterial infection a generation ago. Not only is there scant government research on Lyme disease, but the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and the National Institutes of Health assert that the disease is easy to diagnose and cured with a course of antibiotics. They deny the existence of chronic Lyme disease, in which some patients experience painful joints and even heart disease or neurological problems, including cognitive declines. The agencies also inveigh against treating such patients with further courses of antibiotics. In page after page of data and interviews with patients, advocates, and researchers around the world, Pfeiffer builds a strong case: Diagnosis is not easy, many patients do not have the bull’s-eye rash associated with the tick bite, and the CDC’s diagnostic criteria are problematic. Worse, the prevalence of Lyme is rapidly growing worldwide.

Thanks to global warming, tick species are spreading farther and finding ample numbers of small mammals to infect. The species that carry Lyme often carry other pathogens, a condition that seems to increase their vigor, while their saliva contains anti-coagulants, anesthetics, and immunosuppressive agents that enable the fiendishly small blood-suckers to hang on. Indeed, the author suggests that an anti-saliva agent might be more effective than an anti-Lyme vaccine. One difficulty with a vaccine is that the Lyme bacterium is a spirochete (like the agent for syphilis), a bug able to lie low and hide from the immune system in tissues as a persister. Pfeiffer’s indignation and constant lacing of the text with tick names and numbers, disease counts, and tragic cases create a high emotional pitch that can be exhausting, but the basic facts she sets forth are credible, and they deserve immediate attention.

Pre-order: http://amzn.to/2iXup1u

Hide and Seek- No Ticks Please by Nancy Fox, Ed.D

Hide and Seek - No ticks Please by Nancy FoxFrom Amazon.com

Hide and Seek – No Ticks Please is a story about Jose´ and Alex’s adventures in the bushes, tall grasses, and wooded areas. During their exploration, they find hidden treasures and hidden dangers. Alex learns about Jose´’s discovery of a hidden danger and how it will change their adventures. She also learns steps to keep them both safe.

Hide-and-Seek – No Ticks, Please is a story to help parents, educators, and medical personnel discuss the risks of ticks, how ticks transmit bacteria, steps to prevent contact with ticks, and how to remove a tick properly if it does become attached.

Nancy Fox, Ed.D is an educator of Pre-K-12 grade students throughout her career. Her passion for teaching about ticks came from a long-term illness of Lyme disease and Babesiosis. Dr. Fox has written No Ticks, Please and The Parasite Convention. A K-12 Lyme Disease Prevention Education & Awareness Curriculum is available for schools and organizations.



Tick Management Handbook, Prepared by Kirby C. Stafford III

Tick Management HandbookTick Management Handbook: An integrated guide for homeowners, pest control operators, and public health officials for the prevention of tick-associated disease. Prepared by: Kirby C. Stafford III, Chief Scientist, The Connecticut Agricultural Experiment Station, New Haven

Click here for handbook: http://www.ct.gov/caes/lib/caes/documents/special_features/tickhandbook.pdf

Nature Noir: A Park Ranger’s Patrol in the Sierra by Jordan Fisher Smith

Nature Noir Lyme disease book Jordan Fisher SmithChapter 11 of Nature Noir: A Park Ranger’s Patrol in the Sierra has information on Lyme disease in California and tells the story of park ranger, Jordan Fisher Smith and his own experience with the disease.

From http://jordanfishersmith.com:

In 1962, the federal Bureau of Reclamation presented Congress with a proposal to dam the north and middle forks of the American River, on the west slope of California’s Sierra Nevada range. As construction began in 1967, the government bought out or condemned previous landowners, depopulating 48 miles of rugged, spectacular canyons that were to be inundated. But the dam ran into trouble on multiple fronts. Completion was delayed, squatters and gold miners resettled the canyons, and the area became a lawless Wild West. The Sheriff of Placer County refused to continue to answer calls there. Sweeps by the US Marshall Service failed. In 1977 a group of park rangers—who thought they’d spend their careers guarding ancient redwoods, beaches, or jewel-like mountain lakes—were sent into the American River to restore order. Nature Noir follows them through a series of criminal and death investigations on condemned ground, in the shadow of the dam that has still not been completed today.

Click here for Jordan Fisher Smith’s work with the LDA

For more information: http://jordanfishersmith.com

Gone in a Heartbeat: A Physician’s Search for True Healing

Gone In a Heartbeat Dr. Neil Spector Lyme disease bookBy Neil Spector, MD. Published February 1, 2015

From amazon.com:

Dr. Neil Spector, one of the nation’s top oncologists, led a charmed life. He was educated at prestigious universities, trained at top medical centers, and had married the woman of his dreams. It seemed too perfect. And it was. In 1994, it all came crashing down. He and his wife lost two unborn children. And a mysterious illness brought him to the brink of death. In his compelling memoir, Gone in a Heartbeat, Dr. Spector describes in great detail how he was misdiagnosed and, despite being a medical insider, was often discounted by his fellow physicians.

As he recounts his own unorthodox approach to medicine and physician/patient relationships, Dr. Spector encourages readers to never surrender their power to a third party. He tells of courageous patients who served as role models, he concedes that doctors do a disservice to patients when “we treat them like statistics,” and he advocates for educated patients who can make informed decisions collaboratively and not simply follow instructions. In Dr. Spector’s words: “To recognize that we are in control of our own bodies and destinies can be a powerful step toward true healing.” Readers of Gone in a Heartbeat will never view the medical profession the same again.

Bite Me: How Lyme Disease Stole My Childhood, Made Me Crazy, and Almost Killed Me by Ally Hilfiger (Author), Tommy Hilfiger (Foreword)

Bite Me: How Lyme Disease Stole My Childhood, Made Me Crazy, and Almost Killed Me Ally HilfigerFrom http://allyhilfiger.com:

Ally was at a breaking point when she woke up in a psych ward at the age of eighteen. She couldn’t put a sentence together, let alone take a shower, eat a meal, or pick up a phone. What had gone wrong? In recent years, she had produced a feature film, a popular reality show for a major network, and had acted in an off-Broadway play. But now, Ally was pushed to a psychotic break after struggling since she was seven years old with physical symptoms that no doctor could explain; everything from joint pain, to night sweats, memory loss, nausea, and brain fog. A doctor in the psych ward was finally able to give her the answers her and her family had desperately been searching for, and the diagnosis that all the previous doctors had missed. She learned that she had Lyme disease-and finally had a breakthrough.

What she didn’t know was that this diagnosis would lead her down some of the most excruciating years of her life before beginning her journey to recovery from eleven years of misdiagnosis and physical pain. She would need to find her courage to heal physically, mentally, and emotionally, and become the survivor she is today.

FocusAZ Aly Hilfiger Pat Smith loAlly Hilfiger and Pat Smith, LDA President, at Focus on Lyme 2nd Annual Wave of Change Scientific Conference & Gala, February 23-24, 2017 in Paradise Valley, AZSet against the backdrop of the fast-paced fashion and entertainment industries, BITE ME shares the heartbreaking and hilarious stories that moved Ally forward on her journey from sickness to health. Its themes will be familiar to more than 300,000 Americans diagnosed with Lyme disease each year, many of whom, like Ally, wondered for years what was wrong with them. BITE ME offers readers hope and ideas for how one can transition from victim to survivor, and shares the spiritual principles and actions that have contributed to her wholeness as a human, mother, and international spokesperson against Lyme disease.

Compendium of Tick-Borne Disease: A Thousand Pearls

 Compendium of Tick-Borne Disease: A Thousand Pearls K. Spreen, DO

By Kathleen Spreen, DO. Published 2013

Compendium of Tick-Borne Disease: A Thousand Pearls, written by Kathleen Spreen, DO is now available for sale. It is 856 pages of practical advice and reasonable options. Topics include Challenge of TBIs, Ticks, Immunology, History of TBDs, Concept of Co-Infection, Babesiosis, Ehrlichiosis/ Anaplasmosis, Bartonellosis, Mycoplasma fermentans, Borreliosis, Controversies around Lyme, Other Recognized TBIs, Overall Patient Evaluation, History of Present TBD, Patient History, Review of Systems, Physical Examination, Ordering Appropriate Tests, Scientific Basis & Interpretation and much more.

LDA provided an educational grant to help with publication of this vital book which provides a comprehensive and up-to-date look at many aspects of tick-borne diseases. The “… book is technically accurate, readable, practical, helpful, and in more than a few instances, funny. I would be surprised if all readers, no matter what their relationship to tick-borne disease, could not get something immediately useful from this text,” says Doug Fearn, President, LDASEPA. Go to Amazon.com to order or tickpearls.com if looking for bulk discounts. A portion of the profits will go toward Lyme advocacy.

Click here for special pricing form with LDA of Southeastern Pennsylvania (Can be 50% discount off Amazon price)

Click here for flyer

From Amazon.com: This Compendium provides a comprehensive overview of tick-borne diseases (Lyme, Babesiosis, Bartonella, etc…) including, descriptions, diagnostic approaches, treatment options, and an array of management plans. The text was designed to educate health care providers, patients, and caretakers about the risks posed by tick-borne illnesses. Previously, the contradictory, confusing, and inflammatory rhetoric available made proper diagnosis and treatment of these cases difficult, if not impossible. Because Dr. Spreen compiled, interpreted, and consolidated expert opinion, medical literature, and hands-on experience into one volume, the reader finally has an accessible resource that will aid in collaborative, practical, and compassionate decision-making. Dr. Spreen focuses on creative strategies that allow the best chance for successful outcomes. She dispels harmful myths and provides a solid scientific foundation for the practical guidance incorporated into this text. You are no longer alone in your attempt to combat these complex and confusing conditions. This book will help you to never lose hope and to NEVER GIVE UP.

Coping with Lyme, 3rd edition by Denise Lang with Kenneth Liegner, MD

 Coping with Lyme Denise Lang Kenneth Liegner, MD Lyme disease bookFrom BarnesandNoble.com/Amazon.com:

Completely revised and updated-the bible for the thousands who contract Lyme disease each year

Lyme disease, transmitted through the bite of a tick, is one of our nation’s fastest-growing epidemics. Since Coping with Lyme Disease was first published in 1993, the number of sufferers afflicted by this debilitating condition has grown alarmingly.

Every chapter has been thoroughly revised and new information about the long-term neurological effects of Lyme disease and congential and chronic versions of the illness has been added.

This comprehensive guide includes
– basic prevention tips
– a detailed catalog of the physical and psychological symptoms to look for
– a complete look at the medical and home care options and insurance policies available to patients
– a special discussion of Lyme’s effects on women, children, and the elderly
– an expanded resource guide, with listings of news publications, state-by-state support groups, and special family services

This fully updated third edition informs readers of the latest medical findings in diagnosing and treating Lyme disease-providing crucial information about newly discovered Lyme-related illnesses, electromagnetic procedures, clinical and antibiotic therapies, and curative nutritional products now on the market. A longtime bestseller, this authoritative book is an essential tool for all Lyme disease sufferers.


Denise Lang is a popular speaker on family and health issues who has appeared on television shows nationally. A former award-winning reporter and editor, she currently works as a television producer in New York.

Kenneth Leigner, M.D., has published articles about Lyme disease in the Journal of American Medicine, the New England Journal of Medicine, and the Journal of Clinical Microbiology. He practices medicine in Armonk, New York. Click here for bio