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Volume: 2
Issue: 01
Date: 31-Jan-94

Table of Contents:

I.   ANNOUNCEMENT: Class Action Suit Against Insurers
II.  ANNOUNCEMENT: LDF Conference - April 1994
III. NIH BAA: Animal Models For Chronic Lyme Disease
IV.  ANNOUNCEMENT: Video Tapes Available for Support Groups
V.   NEWSDAY: Lyme Vaccine Ready For Testing
VI.  QUESTION: Aftermath Of Tick Bite
VII. How to Subscribe, Contribute, and Get Back Issues


*                  The National Lyme Disease Network                  *
*                         LymeNet Newsletter                          *

IDX#                Volume 2 - Number 01 - 1/31/94
IDX#                            INDEX
IDX#  I.   ANNOUNCEMENT: Class Action Suit Against Insurers
IDX#  II.  ANNOUNCEMENT: LDF Conference - April 1994
IDX#  III. NIH BAA: Animal Models For Chronic Lyme Disease
IDX#  IV.  ANNOUNCEMENT: Video Tapes Available for Support Groups
IDX#  V.   NEWSDAY: Lyme Vaccine Ready For Testing
IDX#  VI.  QUESTION: Aftermath Of Tick Bite
IDX#  VII. How to Subscribe, Contribute, and Get Back Issues

I.   ANNOUNCEMENT: Class Action Suit Against Insurers
FROM: LymeNet News
BYLINE: By Marc Gabriel
DATELINE: New York City, Tuesday, January 25, 1994

Ira M. Maurer, the attorney who recently won a landmark decision for
Lyme disease on behalf of four employees of the Long Island Railroad,
is currently assessing Lyme disease claims nationwide for inclusion in
a class action suit against insurers.

Maurer, based in New York City, is currently on retainer by several
Lyme patients fighting their insurers to receive benefits.  According
to Maurer, the problem is not limited to long term IV treatment.  "Even
claims for oral treatment are being denied," he said.

Given the mounting number of Lyme patients seeking legal action against
their insurers, Maurer feels he can be more effective by combining
cases.  "Individual claims are cumbersome," said Maurer, who feels few
lawyers are helping Lyme patients.  "If I don't do it, no one will."

He is also aiming his guns at the insurance companies' advisors.
At the very least, according to Maurer, their conduct is unethical.
"They intentionally ignore evidence of persistent infection" he said.
"Their actions may also be illegal."  Maurer will look at possible
racketeering violations.

While the advisors will claim there is no evidence long term treatment
is effective, and therefore, such therapies are experimental, Maurer
feels the courts will disagree.  "The quality of patients' lives
improves with treatment," he said.

"No one will be named in court unless they want to be named," he noted
in response to patient concerns that they will be dragged into a long,
expensive case.  "The cost of litigation will originally be borne
by the law firm -- there will be no cost up front," Maurer explained.

Maurer is on the Board of Directors of the Lyme Disease Foundation.
However, this class action is independent of the LDF.


If you have been denied insurance benefits for treatment of chronic
Lyme disease (including denials by self-insured companies), send a
detailed summary of your case, either by mail or by FAX to Mr. Maurer
at the address below.  Your case summary should include the following

  * Was there a known tick bite?
  * When you initially became symptomatic and description of symptoms
  * Did you ever have an ECM rash?
  * Have you ever tested positive on any test for the disease?
  * When you began treatment
  * A summary of your treatment and current situation
  * Identity of treating physician(s)
  * When you were denied insurance coverage
  * A copy of the denial letter
  * Mention where you learned of this class action
  * Include your name, address and phone number(s) and send to:

                          Ira M. Maurer
                      Elkind, Flynn & Maurer
                       122 East 42nd Street
                     New York, NY  10168-0132
                        FAX: (212) 986-3352


II.  ANNOUNCEMENT: LDF Conference - April 1994
From: The Lyme Disease Foundation

The VII Annual International Scientific Conference on Lyme Borreliosis
and Other Spirochetal and Tick Borne Diseases will take place on April
22 and 23 at the Sheraton Hotel in Stamford, Connecticut.

Conference Chair:     Martina Ziska, MD -- Scientific Director
Conference Co-Chairs: Andrew D. McBride, MD -- Stamford Dept. of Health
                     Julie Rawlings, MPH -- Texas Department of Health
                     Steven Schutzer, MD -- Univ. of Med. and Dent. NJ

Topics Include:
  * Diagnosis (including Differential Diagnosis)
  * Clinical Mainfestations
  * Treatment Options
  * Immunopathogenesis
  * New Research Discoveries
  * Other Tick-borne Diseases
  * Other Spirochetal Diseases
  * Public Health Issues
  * Veterinary Issues
  * Writing & Submitting Articles to Peer-Reviewed Journals
  * Employer / Employee Education
  * Support Group Training
  * Community Education Training
  * Poster Sessions included

  For more information, contact:

  Martina Ziska, MD
  Medical Director
  The Lyme Disease Foundation, Inc
  1 Financial Plaza
  Hartford, CT  06103
  (203) 525-2000


III.  NIH BAA: Animal Models For Chronic Lyme Disease
93.12.10 RFP-RFA
NIH GUIDE, Volume 22, Number 44, December 10, 1993
P.T. 34

National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases

The Bacteriology and Mycology Branch of the Division of Microbiology
and Infectious Diseases, National Institute of Allergy and Infectious
Diseases (NIAID), promotes and supports research in the biochemistry,
physiology, and genetics of bacteria and fungi, especially studies
involving medically relevant species.  The focus of this Broad Agency
Announcement (BAA) is on basic research that will serve to advance
clinical protocols for treating or preventing chronic Lyme disease in
human populations.  Examples of such research include:  the
development of an experimental animal model for late stage Lyme
disease that exhibits consistent development of histologically
demonstrable arthritis, or neurological symptoms characteristic of
chronic Lyme disease in an immunologically intact animal; the
development of an animal model demonstrating immune responses
reflecting the complexity of those observed in human disease; and the
development of an animal model examining the role of the skin in
facilitating infection, dissemination and persistence of spirochetes,

including host-bacterium factors that allow spirochete persistence in
the skin in the absence of apparent host immune responses, the
intracellular or extracellular location of spirochetes in the skin
and other immunologically privileged sites, and the affects of
spirochete persistence on determinations of therapeutic endpoints.

BAA NIH-NIAID-DMID-94-31 will be available on or about December 27,
1993, and proposals will be due approximately February 28, 1994.  It
is anticipated that one or more cost-reimbursement contracts covering
one or more categories listed under the Research and Technical
Objectives will be awarded for a period of up to four years.  Any
responsible offeror may submit a proposal that will be considered by
the Government.


To receive a copy of this BAA, supply this office with a self-
addressed mailing label.  All inquires must be in writing and
addressed to:

Carl R. Henn
Contracts Management Branch
National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases
Solar Building, Room 3C07
Bethesda, MD  20892


IV. ANNOUNCEMENT: Video Tapes Available for Support Groups
From: The Lyme Borrelia Outreach

Dr. Robert Gasser from the Lyme Borreliosis Study Group in Graz,
Austria, visited the United States last fall.  During his visit, he
appeared on Stephen Nostrom's nationally syndicated "Lyme Borrelia
Outreach" television program.  Nostrom asked patients and support
groups to send in postcards to greet Dr. Gasser -- the cards
wallpapered the "Lyme Borrelia Outreach" set during the Gasser
interview.  The program and the postcard request were highly

Nostrom would like to distribute videotape copies of the interview.
He would also like to disseminate an interview with Dr. Joseph
Burrascano of East Hampton, NY, and 2 internationally distributed
documentaries on LD.  He received donated videotapes from the 3M
Corporation to make the copies.

Nostrom will now distribute copies of these features, but needs to know
how many copies to make.  If your support group is interested in
receiving copies, please send your name, address and phone number to:

Stephen Nostrom
Lyme Borrelia Outreach
P.O. Box 496
Mattituck, NY   11952


V.   NEWSDAY: Lyme Vaccine Ready For Testing
From: New York Newsday
Headline: Lyme Vaccine Ready for Testing; Researchers seeking
         1,000 LI volunteers
Date: January 16, 1994, Sunday
Section: NEWS; Pg. 32
Byline: By John McDonald. STAFF WRITER

The search is on for 1,000 volunteers from Long Island to participate
in the first major test of a Lyme disease vaccine on human beings.

"The volunteers have to come from high-risk areas, and we don't want
people who sit in the house all day," said Dr. Eileen Hinton, director
of the Lyme disease and immunization center at Long Island Jewish
Medical Center in New Hyde Park. Hinton, the Long Island coordinator
of the vaccine test by a private drug company said, "We are doing all
we can to get everybody enrolled by January 25.  We want everyone
immunized before the first tick bites in April."

Not all of the area's top Lyme disease researchers support the
experiment.  "There are multiple strains of the bacteria that cause
Lyme disease, and this vaccine will protect against only one," said
Dr. Raymond Dattwyler, director of the Lyme Clinic Center of University
Hospital at Stony Brook. "We're not recommending it to our patients."

The purpose of this experiment, Hinton said, is to determine how
effective it is in preventing Lyme disease.  She acknowledged that it
will not protect against all strains of the disease but said,
"It appears to prevent the strains most common here on Long Island."

The vaccine test, which Hinton said is being conducted with knowledge
of the U.S. Food and Drug Administration, is sponsored by Connaught
Laboratories Inc. of Swiftwater, Pa., and will involve 8,000 people in
areas with high rates of Lyme disease.  In addition to Long Island, the
test areas include parts of New Jersey, Connecticut, Massachusetts and

Before reaching this stage, the vaccine was tested on mice and twice on
groups of people, the first with 36 subjects and the second with
several hundred, according to Lenore Cooney, a spokeswoman for

Hinton said that the earlier tests established that the vaccine is safe
enough to be tested on people.

She added that the Connaught vaccine is made from a protein of the
disease-causing bacteria, meaning it cannot in itself cause the
disease.  Vaccines made from the bacteria itself have been known to
cause the diseases they are meant to prevent.


FDA policy is to decline comment on whether a specific drug is being
tested.  The FDA must be assured that a drug is safe before it can be
used in a human experiment, FDA spokesman Arthur Whitmore said.  He
added, "There is nothing that is risk-free in drug testing, and the
trial participants must be fully informed of the risks and provide
their consent to take part."


VI.  QUESTION: Aftermath Of Tick Bite
Sender: [email protected] (Jim Hornbeck)
Subject: aftermath of bite

This question comes from a friend in the Seattle area who does not
have Inet access. I forward the newsletter to her regularly.

"Since being bitten by a Lyme disease carrying tick last June 13th
I took Tetracycline for 30 days. Now I have a small hard lump where
the tick bite was. The lump is now about 1/8 inch in diameter and is
a reddish brown color. I've gone to two doctors who don't know much
about this sort of thing. Should I be worried?"

Thanks in advance.



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