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Marshfield Clinic Participating In Lyme Disease Study

UMaine Cooperative Extension

MARSHFIELD, WI (WSAU) -- The Marshfield Clinic's Research Institute has joined a national study to help the medical community better understand Lyme disease, a common tick-borne illness.

Anna Schotthoefer says the National Lyme Disease Biobank is working to collect blood and urine samples of individuals who are in the early stages of the disease to help develop better tests. "We ultimately want to help researchers in developing diagnostics test that are better at confirming the presence of the disease in a patient. Our current tests are very bad." She goes on to say that the medical community, "Really [doesen't] fully understand all of the ways in which the disease can present itself. There's a need for more research to better understand the full spectrum of the disease."

She says like with any disease early detection is key because those who don't know they have it can develop complications. And with Lyme disease being very common in Wisconsin, it makes sense to study cases of the disease that develope here.

According to Marshfield Clinic, Wisconsin reported over 1,500 confirmed cases of the disease in 2016, and it's believed there may have been another 1,500 unconfirmed cases that same year. Schotthoefer says those donating to the biobank don't need to be patients of the Marshfield Clinic, but they do ask that you see your primary care provider first for them to confirm it's Lyme disease and that anyone donating be 10 years of age or older.

Symptoms should be present for no more than 2 days, and anyone who is eligable to donate samples to the project can be compenseated. Early signs of the disease include flu-like symptoms and the "bulls-eye" rash (a red, expanding rash that may have some central clearing to give it a bulls-eye look).

To potentially submit a sample or to learn more about Lyme Disease Biobank efforts at MCRI, call 715-389-5738.

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