"Darren Collins doesn't know life without Lyme disease. He was just 11 months old when he came home from Wisconsin's Mauthe Lake Campground pasty white, lethargic and running a fever of 105. Darren's flu-like illness eventually subsided, but a host of other troubling Lyme-related symptoms -- stomachaches, irritability and concentration problems -- have since plagued the boy, now 10."
"For now, Darren is settling for finding kids like himself, a group that has grown significantly over the decade since he contracted the disease from a tick bite. And according to experts, there may be a link between these increases and a changing climate.
A quarter of all Lyme disease cases are among children. At highest risk: kids ages 5 to 14, who are more likely to play outdoors and close to the ground, where ticks are ready to pounce. Darren recently launched an online chat room catering to this group. Every Friday night at 8 p.m. Central, he now talks online with nearly a dozen new friends who log on from as far away as Kentucky and Australia, all living with Lyme."
Lynn Peeples reports for the Huffington Post April 4, 2012.
"Bracing for a Hungry Tick Season" (Green/NYTimes)