Straight From Plum Island
This content is directly from the website of Plum Island.
“We work to protect farm animals, farmers and ranchers, the nation’s farm economy and export markets… and your food supply. “
Really? From my understanding, scientists have studied a variety of hardcore pathogens, from anthrax to foot-and-mouth disease. It was also ground zero for biological weapons testing. Seems a bit far fetched from farm animals and the food we eat.
We’re proud of our role as America’s first line of defense against foreign animal diseases.”
Where Lyme Disease Came From And Why It Eludes Treatment
A new book called Bitten: The Secret History of Lyme Disease and Biological Weapons by Kris Newby adds significantly to our understanding of Lyme disease, while oddly seeming to avoid mention of what we already knew.
Newby claims that if a scientist named Willy Burgdorfer had not made a confession in 2013, the secret that Lyme disease came from a biological weapons program would have died with him. Yet, in 2004 Michael Christopher Carroll published a book called Lab 257: The Disturbing Story of the Governments Secret Germ Laboratory. He appeared on several television shows to discuss the book, including on NBCs Today Show, where the book was made a Today Show Book Club selection. Lab 257 hit the New York Times nonfiction bestseller list soon after its publication.
Newbys book reaches the same conclusion as Carrolls, namely that the most likely source of diseased ticks is Plum Island. Newby reaches this conclusion on page 224 after mentioning Plum Island only once in passing in a list of facilities on page 47 and otherwise avoiding it throughout the book. This is bizarre, because Newbys book otherwise goes into great depth, and even chronicles extensive research efforts that lead largely to dead ends, and because there is information available about Plum Island, and because Carrolls best-selling book seems to demand comment, supportive or dismissive or otherwise.
The Mystery Myth And Reality Of Plum Island
For years, plenty of wild rumors and conspiracy theories have swirled around an 840-acre speck of land a mile-and-a-half off New York’s Long Island, home to a high-security federal research facility that Internet-fueled urban legends have made into the East Coast’s equivalent of Area 51. Some have speculated that animal-human hybrids and biological warfare weapons are being developed inside the Plum Island Animal Disease Center, opened by the U.S. Department of Agriculture in the 1950s and under the control of the U.S. Department of Homeland Security since 2003.
“I’ve had questions about Nazi scientists, alien technology and genetically-modified monsters,” says John Verrico, a spokesman for Homeland Security’s Science and Technology Directorate.
But inside the security fences and biocontainment area checkpoints , government researchers work to stave more tangible threats foreign animal diseases such as foot-and-mouth disease and African swine fever, which have the potential to wreak havoc with the U.S. food supply if they ever spread across the nation’s farms.
That longstanding danger led Congress to authorize the Department of Agriculture to create a laboratory to fight animal diseases back in the 1950s, with one major condition the facility had to be located on an island, to reduce the danger of pathogens or infected animals escaping and spreading to farms, according to this . Plum Island, the site of the U.S. Army’s Fort Terry from 1879 to 1948, fit that criteria.
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Ancient History Of Lyme Disease
A team of researchers led by the Yale School of Public Health has found that the Lyme disease bacterium is ancient in North America, circulating silently in forests for at least 60,000 yearslong before the disease was first described in Lyme, Connecticut, in 1976 and long before the arrival of humans.
For the first time, the full genomes of the Lyme disease bacterium, Borrelia burgdorferi, were sequenced from deer ticks to reconstruct the history of this invading pathogen.
The finding shows that the ongoing Lyme disease epidemic was not sparked by a recent introduction of the bacterium or an evolutionary changesuch as a mutation that made the bacterium more readily transmissible. It is tied to the ecological transformation of much of North America. Specifically, forest fragmentation and the population explosion of deer in the last century have created optimal conditions for the spread of ticks and triggered this ongoing epidemic.
Katharine Walter conducted the research while a doctoral student at Yale School of Public Health and is lead author of the study published in Nature Ecology and Evolution.
The Lyme disease bacterium has long been endemic, she said. But the deforestation and subsequent suburbanization of much of New England and the Midwest created conditions for deer ticksand the Lyme disease bacteriumto thrive.
Was Plum Island The Garden Of Eden For Lyme Disease
The book of Genesis, beginnings, places human origin in the Garden of Eden. Some observers believe Lyme disease may have originated on Plum Island.
Plum Island, off the tip of New Yorks Long Island, was opened in 1954 with the stated intent of protecting American livestock from animal diseases such as hoof-and-mouth disease.
Labeled on their website as a Level 3 facility dedicated to working with the most dangerous animal diseases globally, Plum Island is the sole place in America where hoof-and-mouth disease, Rinderpest, and African swine fever can be studied.
Some observers believe Plum Island was established under Project Paperclip, a classified U.S. government program which brought Nazi scientists to America. One of the former Nazis brought to the U.S. was Werner von Braun, the rocket scientist who helped beat Russia in the space race. Von Braun though did not participate in the Plum Island Project.
One Nazi who probably did was Dr. Erich Traub. Traub, a medical doctor, had been the director of the Third Reichs virological and bacteriological warfare program during WWII.
Documentation exists about the Nazis germ warfare work once they came to America. They experimented with poison ticks dropped from planes to determine if ticks, carrying Lyme Disease, were a viable method for biological warfare. Plum Island is within miles of the spot where Lyme Disease began: Lyme, Connecticut.
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What Are The Complications Of Lyme Disease
Lyme disease affects people differently. Relapse and incomplete treatment responses happen. Relapse and incomplete treatment responses happen. Complications of untreated early-stage disease include:
Frequent hospitalizations to manage the disease
Some of these complications result in chronic, debilitating conditions.
Some people may develop post-Lyme disease syndrome . A condition also known as chronic Lyme disease includes PLDS, but also other syndromes. Usually, these are characterized by persistent musculoskeletal and peripheral nerve pain, fatigue, and memory impairment.
What Causes Lyme Disease
Lyme disease is caused by bacteria that is spread to humans by tick bites. The ticks that carry the spirochete are:
Black-legged deer tick
Western black-legged tick
Ticks prefer to live in wooded areas, low-growing grasslands, and yards. Not all ticks carry the Lyme disease bacteria. Depending on the location, anywhere from less than 1% to more than 50% of the ticks are infected with it.
While most tick bites are harmless, several species can cause life-threatening diseases. Tick-borne diseases include:
Rocky Mountain spotted fever
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Stages Of Lyme Disease
There are three stages of Lyme disease and in each stage an infected person can expect different symptoms.
The first stage, or Early Lyme Disease, is when you canexpect to see a rash, described above. In stage two, or the Early DisseminatedLyme Disease stage, the rash will typically disappear. This is when othersymptoms can arrive, however.
Some symptoms can be dangerous, like meningitis or braininflammation. If you experience headaches or an extremely stiff neck, seektreatment right away.
Other symptoms may be swollen lymph nodes, fever and chills, pain in your muscles and joints, irregular heartbeat, and even palsy in the face, causing a loss of muscle tone. You may also experience dizziness, shortness of breath, numbness or tingling, or shooting pains.
Stage 3 is called Late Disseminated Lyme Disease and cantake months or years to appear. Nervous system problems, memory loss, jointpain, paralysis in areas like the face, severe joint swelling, and arthritis.
Getting a diagnosis early can help.
How Is The Water In South Padre Island
Gulf waters are tested annually and South Padre Island regularly rates among the safest, cleanest water. The water is clearer, warmer, and calmer than other beaches on the Gulf of Mexico. Labeled among the cleanest water in the country. All of South Padre Islands city beaches are easily accessible on foot.
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Where Did Lyme Disease Come From All Of A Sudden
Fadó, fadó I sat in a building site hut on Aughinish Island and watched a man dislodge what we called a Scirtán from a workmates back.
His only qualifications for the job were his long fingernails, good eyesight and the fact that he smoked. While the island crawled with safety officers, there was no mention of health in their portfolios then.
The patient in the hut was told to turn his back to the light. The chief surgeon took a good drag of his fag and took it from his mouth and blew away the excess ash.
This fella will have a sore arse now, he said as he applied the red tip to the Scirtáns exposed rear.
The Black of your Nail
He finished the job with the aforementioned long fingernails. He wasnt a man for eating his nails. And this was still in the days when the black of your nail was an accepted and understood unit of measurement.
Each gang on the site had a basic first aid box. A drop of iodine and a plaster were applied and the cards were dealt.
Scirtáns were an everyday fact of life back then for people who worked outside. Gardens, meadows, bogs, woods and if you had a dog or two and who hadnt you would be sure to find a few stuck in you every evening.
Now, it seems that those very same Scirtáns, or Ticks as theyre known these days, are the cause of whats coming close to an epidemic of Lyme Disease.
Charities being Set Up
No Lyme Disease Is Not An Escaped Military Bioweapon Despite What Conspiracy Theorists Say
Could Lyme disease in the United States be the result of an accidental release from a secret bioweapons experiment? Could the military have specifically engineered the Lyme disease bacterium to be more insidious and destructive and then let it somehow escape the lab and spread in nature? Is this why 300,000 Americans are diagnosed annually with this potentially debilitating disease?
Its an old conspiracy theory enjoying a resurgence with lots of sensational headlines and tweets. Even Congress has ordered that the Pentagon must reveal whether it weaponized ticks.
And its not true.
Ticks can indeed carry infectious agents that could be used as biological weapons. Military research has long focused on ticks. Sites around Long Island Sound, near the militarys Plum Island research lab, were some of the first places where the American Lyme disease epidemic was identified.
But there was no release of the Lyme disease agent or any other onto American soil, accidental or otherwise, by the military.
I started working on Lyme disease in 1985. As part of my doctoral thesis, I investigated whether museum specimens of ticks and mice contained evidence of infection with the bacterial agent of Lyme disease before the first known American human cases in the mid-1970s.
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What Are The Signs And Symptoms Of Lyme Disease
Tick bites are usually painless and most people do not know they have been bitten. Signs and symptoms of Lyme disease vary greatly from person to person, and may appear anywhere between 3 to 30 days after a person has been bitten.
Symptoms often include:
- Swollen lymph nodes.
- Skin rash.
One sign of infection can be an expanding rash, sometimes referred to as a “bull’s eye” rash because it may have rings spreading from the bite site ). It is important to note that rashes without the bull’s eye may occur, and that rashes do not appear in every case of Lyme disease infection.
The PHAC states that if left untreated, more severe symptoms may occur and can last from months to years. Severe symptoms may include:
- Severe headaches
- Additional EM skin rashes..
- Neurological disorders
- Nervous system disorders, including facial paralysis or Bell’s palsy .
- Intermittent muscle, joint, tendon, and bone aches
- Arthritis with severe joint pain and swelling, particularly the knees and less commonly in other joints such as the ankle, elbow, and wrists.
If untreated, a condition called late disseminated Lyme disease may occur. PHAC reports symptoms include recurring arthritis , nervous system and/or neurological problems. Symptoms can also include numbness and/or paralysis . Deaths from Lyme disease are rare but may occur.
PHAC provides more information on Lyme Disease.
The Birthplace Of Lyme Disease
Lyme, Connecticut, may be off the hook.
New Haven’s neighbor, Lyme, Connecticut, is off the hook. Lyme disease originated in Europe, according to new research.
Lyme disease, which is transmitted to humans by ticks, is the most common vector-borne disease in the United States. It is caused by the bacterium Borrelia burgdorferi, which is more common in the United States than in Europe. Many researchers therefore believed the bacterium originated on this side of the Atlantic.
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What You Need To Know About Lyme Disease
Lyme disease is an infection caused by the spiral-shaped bacteria Borrelia burgdorferi, which is most commonly transmitted by a tick bite.
There are over 300,000 estimated new cases of Lyme disease in the United States each year.
The symptoms of Lyme disease depend on the how long the infection has been present in the body. The first sign of Lyme disease is often an expanding round or oval red “bullseye” rash.
If left untreated, people may develop neurological symptoms and heart problems, and have an approximately 60 percent chance of developing Lyme arthritis.
How Is Lyme Disease Diagnosed
Lyme disease is difficult to diagnose because symptoms are not consistent and may mimic other conditions. The primary symptom is a rash, but it may not be present in up to 20% of cases.
Diagnosis for Lyme disease must be made by a healthcare provider experienced in recognizing Lyme disease. Diagnosis is usually based on symptoms and a history of a tick bite. Testing is generally done to confirm the diagnosis and rule out other conditions. This may need blood and other lab tests.
Research is underway to develop and improve methods for diagnosing Lyme disease.
The symptoms of Lyme disease may look like other medical conditions or problems. Always talk with your healthcare provider for a diagnosis.
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History Of Lyme Disease
Ticks and Lyme disease have been around for thousands of years. In fact, a recent autopsy on a 5,300-year-old mummy indicated the presence of the bacteria which causes Lyme disease. A German physician, Alfred Buchwald, first described the chronic skin rash, or erythema migrans, of what is now known to be Lyme disease more than 130 years ago. However, Lyme disease was only recognized in the United States in the 1960s and 1970s. And the bacteria that causes itBorrelia burgdorferiwasnt officially classified until 1981.
Who Gets Lyme Disease
Anyone bitten by an infected deer tick can get Lyme disease. Most U.S. cases of Lyme disease happen in Connecticut, Delaware, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, Minnesota, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New York, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, Vermont, Virginia, and Wisconsin. But Lyme disease is found in other parts of the U.S., Europe, Asia, and Australia too.
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Lyme Disease Continues To Expand
The rate of Lyme disease spread has been slow compared to mosquito-borne West Nile virus, yet the current epidemic of Lyme disease is steadily increasing. It is estimated to be spreading 30 kilometers per year.
There has been little effort to try to limit the geographic spread of infected ticks. Most control efforts have been focused on managing tick populations where they are already established. Efforts have so far have included areainsecticide application, bait stations to treat mice or deer with insecticide and vaccinating mice against the bacterium. All of these methods have had limited success in reducing Lyme disease risk, but none have been employed to limit spread.
From an ecology perspective, the question is not why there are so many ticks, but why arent there more. At least 90% of each tick stage disappears over a single generation and we do not understand what happens to them. How many starve to death before finding a host? How many find hosts, but get removed by grooming before they can feed? How many are eaten by other animals or die from parasites? How does weather affect mortality?
Basic research on tick ecology pales in comparison to that conducted on the bacterium and patients. If we knew what limits tick population growth in nature, we might have better insight on how to manage their spread. For now, Lyme disease will continue to expand unabated.
A Complex Path To Humans
Ironically, the deer that helped the tick population grow and spread do not become infected with the Lyme disease bacterium and cannot cause infection in ticks. But, birds and small mammals, particularly the abundant white-footed mouse, can carry the bacteria and infect immature ticks that feed on them. Infected larvae turn into infected nymphs, the source of infection for larger animals and humans.
Adult ticks hitchhike a ride on the deer, where they mate and feed on the deers blood. When they are done, the female then drops off into the leaf litter where deer travel and lays her eggs. Each deer can support hundreds of ticks, and each female tick lays about 2,000 eggs.
Once new tick populations are established by deer that carry them into new areas, infected ticks cause infection in mice, birds and other small mammals. New populations of deer ticks rapidly become infected with the Lyme disease bacterium as soon as they are established.
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