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Carl Tuttle’s Statement to NH Commission to Study Testing for Lyme & TBD

Carl Tuttle is a long time New Hampshire advocate. He is a member of the New Hampshire Commission to Study Testing For Lyme & Other Tick-Borne Diseases. The  charter is to “study the use and limitations of serological diagnostic tests to determine the presence or absence of Lyme and other tick-borne diseases and the development of appropriate methods to educate physicians and the public with respect to the inconclusive nature of prevailing test methods.”  Below is a statement he read at the last meeting, which he then shared with the  LDA. 

 
COMMISSION TO STUDY TESTING FOR LYME AND OTHER TICK-BORNE DISEASES
 
Since the last meeting I have sent nine emails with topics to discuss in our meetings. The emails have contained many supporting references to my claim that serology is no better than a coin toss, harm caused by false negative Elisa tests reported to the NH Dept of Health ten years ago, comments from 340 NH residents with many reporting delayed diagnosis due to false negative serology and a list of references identifying seronegative disease.  A recent Johns Hopkins study reveals that if you’re not treated within the very narrow widow of 30 days, you run the risk of ending up with chronic Lyme disease [1] and yet humans won’t produce antibodies to the infection for 4-6 weeks after a tick bite. So, by the time serology is positive, if ever, it’s already too late as the spirochete responsible for Lyme disease were just recently identified in the brains of mice one week after infection. [2]
 
The possibility of missing a timely diagnosis is extremely high in a state with one of the highest rates of Lyme in the country especially in the absence of a bulls-eye rash. This was the case with all Tuttle family members. None of us developed the bulls eye rash, none of us met the strict CDC criteria for positive test results and as I mentioned previously, if we had not met Dr. Sam Donta, none of us would have been treated.
 
The sobering fact about this travesty is that it has been going on for over three decades and no matter how many complaints are submitted, nothing changes and lives continue to be ruined by an infection misclassified as a simple nuisance disease; “hard to catch and easily treated.” Everyone here is a single tick bite away from experiencing this health disaster as tick-borne disease infection rates in the ticks found in Litchfield for example are as high as 77% as indicated in the 2009 UMass tick study I sent to all of you yesterday. Of course, all these details are well hidden from the public. So I hope that we can make a difference here, get the truth out to the public and save lives that otherwise would have been upended by this life-altering/life threatening infection.
 
Ben Franklin once said, “Justice won’t be served until those unaffected are as outraged as those who are.”
 
Carl Tuttle
Hudson, NH
 
References
  1. Treatment Delays Increase Risk of Persistent Illness in Lyme Disease
  1. A murine model of lyme disease demonstrates that Borrelia burgdorferi colonizes the dura mater and induces inflammation in the central nervous system