Walk in lab

The first laboratory-confirmed Lyme disease case has been reported in Nepal, according to an Op-Ed piece in the Himalayan Times by coordinator of the clinical research unit, Sukraraj Tropical & Infectious Disease Hospital, Dr. Sher Bahadur Pun Tuesday, prompting a notice for health care providers and policy makers in the country.

With its abdomen engorged with a host blood meal, this image depicts a lateral, or side view of a female blacklegged, or deer tick, Ixodes scapularis/CDC

According to Dr. Pun, the patient was a 32-year old individual who visited the hospital complaining of severe fatigue, pain, numbness and tingling sensation in arm.

It is also noted that at least four other tick bite cases have visited the hospital over the last few months; however, there is no indication of Lyme testing results on these patients.

A current criterion for laboratory diagnosis of Lyme disease is not feasible, expensive and is not readily available in Nepal. This could be one of the main reasons for vast differences in the number of Lyme disease reported among developed and least developed countries.

Pun reports that ticks that carry Lyme bacteria are widespread, particularly in Himalayan region of India, meaning Lyme disease might have been vastly underreported in India.

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