Hudson Valley Parent

HVP August 2017

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20 Hudson Valley Parent n August 2017 By LISA IANNUCCI L ast June, at the end of the school year, Melissa Calabro heard her then 5-year-old son, Bernard, moaning in another room. He had been complaining of leg pain and it had gotten so bad that it caused him to miss his preschool graduation. It was definitely not normal behavior for her otherwise active son, who was always outside, riding dirt bikes and playing with his friends. "That night, me and my husband brought him to the hospital, where he spent 3 days. He tested negative for Lyme," says Calabro, who lives with her husband and 3 children in Wappingers Falls. Frustrated with the lack of answers, Calabro carried her son in to see his regular pediatrician. Calabro says, "They noticed Bernard still could not walk and suggested I go to the Children's Hospital in Westchester for a second opinion." Doctors checked for an infection in Bernard's knee and checked for Lyme again. After spending 3 more days in the hospital, he was diagnosed with Lyme. "I never even pulled a tick off of him," says Calabro. Poughkeepsie mom Catherine Monteiro's 7-year-old son Jackson had also complained about leg pain before, but this time it was different. This time he was also diagnosed with Lyme disease. "I never pulled a tick off of him or noticed a rash on him," says Monteiro, who lives with her husband, Bob, her son, Jackson, and her older son, Matthew. Trouble in a tick hotbed According to the Centers for Disease Control (CDC), Lyme disease is caused by the bacterium Borrelia burgdorferi and is transmitted to humans through the bite of infected blacklegged ticks. "New York State is a hotbed for tick activity," says Jocelyn Dummett, M.D., a pediatrician with Crystal Run Healthcare in Middletown. "It's important to do what you can to prevent tick bites," says Anthony D'Ambrosio, a family medicine physician at Health Quest Medical Practice's Fishkill location, Could your child be a prime host for ticks? 5-year-old, Bernard, from Wappingers Falls was an active, happy preschooler until Lyme disease took him off of the baseball field and sent him to the hospital, unable to walk.

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