by Jonathan Galland
With the movie Contagion spreading in the theaters, you might think the next epidemic will come from a scary outbreak of an exotic disease from far away.
But there is a silent epidemic that lurks in our backyards, parks and playgrounds: Lyme disease.
And it all starts with a tiny tick bite that you might not even see.
Today we introduce a book that takes a big bite at Lyme: Cure Unknown: Inside the Lyme Epidemic, by Pamela Weintraub. Weintraub specializes in health, biomedicine, and psychology and is currently senior editor at Discover Magazine.
Book Description of Cure Unknown
A groundbreaking and controversial narrative investigation into the science, history, medical politics, and patient experience of Lyme disease told by a science journalist whose entire family contracted the disease.
She reveals her personal odyssey through the land of Lyme after she, her husband and their two sons became seriously ill with the disease beginning in the 1990s.
From the microbe causing the infection and the definition of the disease, to the length and type of treatment and the kind of practitioner needed, Lyme is a hotbed of contention.
With a CDC-estimated 200,000-plus new cases of Lyme disease a year, it has surpassed both AIDS and TB as the fastest-spreading infectious disease in the U.S.
Yet alarmingly, in many cases, because the disease often eludes blood tests and not all patients exhibit the classic "bulls-eye" rash and swollen joints, doctors are woefully unable or unwilling to diagnose Lyme. When that happens, once-treatable infections become chronic, inexorably disseminating to cause disabling conditions that may never be cured.
Weintraub reveals why the Lyme epidemic has been allowed to explode, why patients are dismissed, and what can be done to raise awareness in the medical community and find a cure. The most comprehensive book ever written about the past, present and future of Lyme disease, this exposes the ticking clock of a raging epidemic.
Get more info on Cure Unknown at amazon.com
Reviews for Cure Unknown
“In Cure, Unknown, Pamela Weintraub has produced both the definitive book about Lyme disease and associated disorders and a survivor’s account of a grueling medical odyssey. Weintraub is a masterful science writer and storyteller, and she tackles the quarrels and quagmires surrounding this baffling illness with intelligence and pathos. This is an important and unforgettable book, destined to make a lasting contribution to the field of investigative health journalism.”
–Kaja Perina, editor in chief of Psychology Today
"A thoroughly researched and well-written account of the disease’s controversial history."
–Jane Brody, New York Times
"Millions suffering from symptoms of a mysterious disease need suffer confusion and loss no longer. If you want to know the real story behind Lyme disease and how to find your way back to health, read this book."
-Mark Hyman, MD, author of the New York Times bestseller, UltraMetabolism.
"Science journalism at its best."
–Amiram Katz, MD, Clinical Faculty, Neurology Department, Yale School of Medicine
"Exhaustively researched and highly recommended."
–Tina Neville, Library Journal
"Living with Lyme gave Weintraub both the insight and the dogged ambition to find out some truths … rather than remaining stuck at the pro-Lyme, anti-Lyme debate, Weintraub spent many hours interviewing researchers who are experts in the ticks that spread Lyme, and the bacterial spirochete, Borrelia burgdorferi, that causes it. What she found is that these researchers — at places like the State University of New York at Stony Brook on Long Island, and the University of California at Davis — are slowly figuring out how complex the bacteria and the disease are. And Weintraub said, these researchers, by and large, confirm what many Lyme patients have learned through bitter experience — the bacteria can cause a persistent infection that may not be treated easily by a couple of weeks of antibiotics."
–Robert Miller, Danbury News-Times
"The view from inside the tick tornado: Sober but scary …A science and health journalist, Weintraub writes clearly and passionately about a mysterious illness that has confounded physicians, patients and scientists for more than three decades, while she tries to balance personal narrative and objective journalism… a comprehensive and compassionate guide to a dreaded illness named after a bucolic, tick-infested town on Long Island Sound."
–Bill Williams, Hartford Courant
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