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I Hope You Never Meet Borrelia Miyamotoi

by Diane Johnson

Borrelia Miyamotoi is the newest tick disease. Now there are 4: Lyme, Babesiosis, Ehrlichiois and closely related Anplasmosis, and Borrelia miyamotoi

In July 2014, I was a 79-year-old energetic woman who enjoyed working in my large flower garden for two to four hours on most days, helping with the daily chores at the Nauset House Inn, a family venture I’d started with my husband in 1982, and walking on the sand flats one to two hours a day with a friend.

On August 5, 2014, I adopted Louie, a 5 month old Border Collie mix, rescued from his doomed life in Louisiana by the Animal League of Boston. I sensed that he was the dog for me and felt sure that I could meet the challenges of caring for a puppy.

By the time I’d had Louie for eleven days he knew his name, was housebroken, walked on a leash without pulling, slept through the night and his winning gentle personality had won the love of everyone he met.

I must admit that I was surprised at how much puppy care was taking out of me. I pushed on, but often mentioned how tired I was and began to cancel all pre-made plans. I did not realize that I was sick.

By August 15, a temperature of 104° sent me to the walk-in clinic provided by my doctor’s office, where I was immediately judged as having a tick related disease and given a slip for a blood test to identify the type of tick bite. Because of the late hour, I had to wait until the next day.

August 16, at 10am, I was taken by ambulance to Cape Cod Hospital.

From the moment I was in the ambulance, until I was discharged, I received the finest care any one could want. Doctors, nurses, aids and every person I dealt with was very knowledgeable and caring. I was a very ill woman and I did not believe that I would ever go home again.

You do not want to contract Borrelia Miyamotoi!

The tick that carries this disease is the same tick that carries the other tick-related diseases, but this tick is at a different stage in its development. It is much smaller; half the size of a pin head. Chances are you will not see it and it does not leave a bite mark like Lyme disease tick bites do.

High fever and lack of energy, fatigue and stiff neck are the symptoms that I experienced, but there are many lists of other symptoms to be found on the internet.

Protect Yourself!

Whenever you go outdoors wear long pants and long sleeves. Be sure to tuck your pants into your socks and shirt into your pants.

Wear tick repellent clothing by spraying your clothes, socks and shoes with Permethrin. I spray my clothes the night before. Treated clothes should be good for up to 6 washings. Pre-treated clothing is available for purchase and claims that it’s good for 70 washings, but I have not purchased any.

Note that Permethrin should NEVER be used on your skin but EPA-approved repellent may be used on exposed skin.

Check yourself and the shower for ticks. Putting your clothes in the clothes dryer at high heat will kill the ticks in about thirty minutes.

There are various sprays for yards and gardens to help repel ticks but I do not feel qualified to give advice on that subject. I definitely do plan to know more about tick-borne diseases by next spring and I will advise everyone meet to research them too.

I am forever thankful to my daughter Cindy, John, A.J, Joyce, Jo, Buffy and all my family and friends who gave me incredible support during my illness. Love is the best medicine ever.


If you see a doctor for your tick bite, be sure you are tested for all FOUR tick-related diseases. Please share this article with your family and friends. Knowledge is a gift that cannot be counted in cost.

P.S Louie was cared for by Cindy and John.

To read more about Borrelia Miyamotoi, visit the CDC website:

In 1982, Diane and her husband purchased the Nauset House Inn, in East Orleans, Cape Cod.

Joined by her daughter Cindy and her husband John Vessella, they became a family of Innkeepers.

This illness has curtailed all of Diane's Inn activities, including gardening, walking the dog, doing her art, and walking the beach.

It is her hope the long, quiet winter will fully restore her energy.