What is the Lyme Connection?
Lyme Connection is a Ridgefield-based collective focused on the prevention of Lyme disease and patient-support services. The group was founded in 2003 as the town’s Lyme Task Force, and has since continued the mission to act as a support system for people and families suffering from tick-borne diseases. Lyme Connection is funded by donations.
Lyme Connection’s mission is to spread awareness not just for keeping ticks away, but for treating the disease once infected. Its BLAST program provides the basic steps—Bathe, Look, Apply, Spray, and Treat—for staying in the clear. Despite efforts to spread awareness, Lyme is still a very common infection. “Today, we must address the fact that Lyme disease has risen to epidemic proportions, with 300,000 new cases diagnosed annually, according to the CDC,” says the group’s co-founder Jennifer Reid.
If not caught early enough, a patient can develop “chronic Lyme,” a condition in which the symptoms of Lyme disease continue to affect the patient long after the antibiotic course is over. Symptoms such as fatigue, pain, and impaired cognitive function can continue to affect the patient for months after treatment.
A Lyme vaccine was created, but according to the CDC, it was discontinued in 2002 due to insufficient consumer demand. The vaccine also decreased in efficiency over time, and anyone given the vaccine would no longer be protected.