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Pediatric & Adolescent Lyme Disease

Tick-borne diseases are a 21st-century epidemic in most geographical areas of the United States and Europe, China, Japan, Australia, South America, and Africa.  Greater awareness regarding the spread of these diseases is gaining momentum as we enter the “Decade of the Microbe.”  However, the multidimensional impact of Lyme disease in particular on our most vulnerable population, children, is still under substantial scrutiny by the medical establishment despite numerous scientific articles demonstrating clear and contrary evidence.,

Children are among the most vulnerable to tick-borne illness simply because they spend time outdoors, play low to the ground where ticks often reside, and are more likely to come into physical contact with these arthropods. At the same time, they show affection to family pets.

The northeast United States was where Lyme disease was first noted in 1975, among a population of children who demonstrated swollen sore knees, sore throats, fever, malaise, and debilitating fatigue.  This observation was made by a housewife, Polly Murray, who, to this day, is mainly responsible for recognizing the first outbreak of Lyme disease in Lyme, Connecticut.  At the same time, Dr. Charles Ray Jones, located in New Haven, Connecticut, not far from Lyme, Connecticut, who is now the world’s leading pediatric Lyme disease specialist, agreed with Mrs. Murray’s observations and began successfully treating many of these children with long term multiple antibiotics.

Dr. Jones was the first pediatrician to recognize the widespread prevalence of Lyme disease in Connecticut, Rhode Island, Massachusetts, New York, New Hampshire, and Maine.  As of December 2010, Delong-Termas treated over 20,000 children with various tick-borne diseases using long-term antibiotics.  Notably, most of these children recover and move on to do great things in the world.  At the age of 85, Dr. Jones continues to commit his life’s work to the healing and well-being of children who have Lyme disease. For a more detailed description of his contributions to pediatric Lyme disease, please see his website at Dr. Jones Kids. To view an in-depth interview with Dr. Jones, please watch the documentary “Under Our Skin,” which can be purchased at www.openeyepictures.com.

As a mentor to Dr. Marra for six years, Dr. Jones taught her the detailed intricacies of diagnosing and treating multiple tick-borne infections in children.  He encouraged her to look for the “subtle” nuances and the effects of tick-borne disease on developing bodies and brains.  His unrelenting perseverance for the truth about the prevalence of Lyme disease in children has made him an international treasure. Dr. Marra is grateful to have had the opportunity to work with him.

As a result of working with Dr. Jones,  she is well-trained in pediatric Lyme disease and co-infection treatment.  She fosters her interest in this medical niche by attending annual ILADS (International Lyme and Associated Diseases Society) conferences while discussing complex cases with Dr. Jones and maintaining frequent professional dialogue with other Lyme-literate doctors.

Dr. Marra feels privileged to know Dr. Jones and is thankful for his willingness to mentor her.   She is fortunate enough to know someone with experience in the medical management of pediatric and adolescent Lyme disease.  Dr. Marra utilizes his wisdom and insights daily in her practice, and Pediatric/Adolescent Lyme disease remains one of her greatest professional strengths.  Dr. Marra intends to continue practicing medicine for tick-borne illness with the skills she has obtained in 22 years of training and over 7,300 patients with Dr. Jones’ principles at the core of her treatment plans. She remains a colleague and a friend of Dr. Jones and hopes to continue his legacy with as much commitment to healing children as he does throughout his more significant 60-year medical career.  Dr. Jones is without question an honorable man who dedicated his life to a most worthy cause. For that, the world is no doubt a better place, despite the continued controversy over antibiotic treatment for chronic Lyme disease.