Program in Canandaigua to address tick-borne diseases

Lyme and other tick-borne diseases once raised havoc in places far away from the Finger Lakes region. Now the illnesses are a big problem locally, with a growing number of people infected and a lot of questions and conflicting information.

On April 5, UR Medicine Thompson Health will present a program to provide answers and the latest information.

The featured speaker will be Dr. Elizabeth Maloney, a Minnesota family physician and president of the Partnership for Tick-borne Diseases Education. She will discuss the various illnesses, their symptoms and prevention.

Partnership for Tick-borne Diseases Education is a nonprofit that educates about tick-borne diseases based on scientific research. The organization continues to update its information because “the scientific understanding of Lyme and other tick-borne diseases continues to evolve,” states the partnership founded in 2015.

Maloney’s specific interest in tick-borne diseases dates back more than a decade when she began delving into scientific literature about the illnesses. Initially, she wanted to understand why some of her patients did not present symptoms or respond as described in review articles and conference lectures. Maloney “discovered that Borrelia burgdorferi, the agent of Lyme disease, is a complex organism and the immune response to it is nuanced and there are gaps in the clinical understanding of the disease,” according to Partnership for Tick-Borne Diseases Education. That discovery led Maloney to her current mission of educating medical professionals and the community about Lyme and the many other tick-borne illnesses.

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