Sunday, February 2, 2014

Death plunge of the wealthy woman turned paranoid by a tick bite

Note the lack of detail at the bottom of the article. The "bull's eye" rash often does not occur,  or is on a part of the body where the victim cannot see it. There should be mention of the CDC just increasing the estimated number of annual cases in the US by a factor of 10, from 30,000 to 300,000. Lyme carditis (inflammation of the heart) and heart block (blocking of the signal from the brain to the heart telling it to beat) are also missing, even though there was recent wide-spread press coverage of three young people dying from Lyme carditis in the US within the last 10 months.  If you feel so inclined, please write to the publisher of The Daily Mail and kindly request more in-depth coverage of Lyme in the UK. I have recently been informed by a Lyme patient from the UK that there is essentially zero coverage of Lyme disease treatment by the National Health insurance program.  -Bob

Death plunge of the wealthy woman turned paranoid by a tick bite

From The Daily Mail, "Mail Online"
(c) The Daily Mail, UK
Sunday Feb 2, 2014

A woman plunged to her death from her bedroom window after suffering paranoid delusions caused by a tick bite, an inquest heard.

Jan Linton, 56, was bitten when she stayed on a friend's nine-acre estate in France.

Within six months she was acting "very strangely" and claimed the police were "out to get her", Westminster Coroner's Court was told.

It is believed she had contracted Lyme disease, a tick-borne illness which is notoriously hard to diagnose in its later stages and can cause psychosis and delusions.

She died instantaneously from multiple injuries after falling three storeys from a window in her flat in West Brompton, South-West London, in January.

Six months earlier she was bitten by a tick while working on land around a house owned by her friend of 20 years, Rhian Bradley.

Miss Linton, described as a "very active and independent lady" of private means, stayed on in France until late December when she returned to London to seek medical help for debilitating joint pains that left her walking on crutches, which she thought could be related to the bite.

Miss Linton, whose father was a surgeon, knew of the risk of Lyme disease.

Her private GP suspected the disease and sent her for tests. But her mental state rapidly deteriorated, the inquest heard.

Miss Bradley, who lived with Miss Linton, said her friend became exhausted from a lack of sleep and started suffering from delusions.

"Jan began to have doubts and questioned the whole meaning of her life," she said.

"She was a person of high integrity and high moral character so it was absolute mental torture to her to think that everything she had thought and believed she was about as a person was an illusion."

Miss Linton, originally from Perth in Australia, said she feared people would think she was "a nutter".

At one point she believed police were in the house and were "out to get her".
Miss Bradley was so concerned about her friend's health that she installed baby monitors to link their bedrooms so she would be on hand if her friend needed help.

In the early hours of January 16 Miss Bradley said she heard what appeared to be Miss Linton talking to herself, saying something like: "I have put something against the door."

At around 6am Miss Bradley heard a thudding noise which sounded like Miss Linton falling out of bed.

She added: "I called out 'Jan, are you all right?' I heard nothing and that's when I raced into her room. She wasn't there.

"I knew what must have happened because the window was wide open."

Coroner Dr Paul Knapman said Miss Linton was "clearly not herself" at the time of her death and her behaviour was "totally out of character".

He added: "This before then had been a perfectly rational person."

He recorded a verdict of death by misadventure.

The life and times of a tick

•Ticks are arthropods. Small black relatives of spiders, they feed only on liquids.

•They have acute senses which can detect the odour of a large mammal.

•They wait in grass, heather, bracken and trees for a host to brush past then attach themselves by burying a probe into the skin to suck blood.

•After gorging, they swell to the size of a pea before turning grey and dropping off their victim.

•Up to one in three ticks carries Lyme disease. Early symptoms include a "bull's-eye" rash and aching joints, which can be treated with antibiotics.

•Untreated, it can cause arthritis, meningitis, paralysis, blindness, psychotic episodes and death.

•The disease is on the increase in the UK due to warmer, wetter weather. In 2006, there were 768 reported cases, compared with 292 in 2003.

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