So, I've been poking around, trying to dig up tidbits of information in preparation to make a really nice, well-cited, detailed post on the topic. Frell that for now.
What I've learned today is that the man in charge of the new IDSA guidelines is Gary Wormser, a medical doctor whom as far as I can tell specializes in HIV/AIDS, not Lyme disease. I've also found, however, that in 2005, Gary Wormser published an article called Poly-ticks: Blue State versus Red State for Lyme disease. I haven't found a copy of this paper available without charge yet, but I did find a summary published in a general update newsletter by Auburn University called AU InforMed [PDF]. If you scroll down to the bottom of that PDF, you'll see a section titled The last "dose" ...POLI-TICKS???:
An article in The Lancet reports a similarity between the patterns of distribution of Lyme disease cases in the United States in 2002 and the states voting for John Kerry in the 2004 Presidential election. The 19 states voting for Kerry account for over 95% of the Lyme disease cases caused by the spirochete Borrelia burgdorferi. Another interesting difference, in most southern states (Bush supporters), Lyme disease is transmitted through an entirely different vector, the “Lone Star tick” which produces a unique rash on the bite victims known as southern-tick-associated rash illness (STARI). One editorial suggests that high incidences of Lyme disease in a patient population may be “protective against the hazards of being a Republican”. What is the author’s conclusion? Further study is needed in both STARI and Presidential Elections.Uh.. huh...
Our conclusion….No matter what your political preference, Spring is fast approaching, and be sure to take special precautions when outside to minimize your exposure to tick-borne illnesses!
Nadelman RB, Wormser GP. Poly-ticks: Blue state versus red state for Lyme disease. Lancet 2005;365(956):280.