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Elemental
Your life, sourced by science. A publication from Medium about health and wellness.

Lyme Disease

In Elemental. More on Medium.

People are paying $30,000 for a controversial, high-heat treatment in Germany. Welcome to Klinik St. Georg.

A dead tick lies under a microscope.
A dead tick lies under a microscope.
Photo: Julian Stratenschulte/picture alliance/Getty

When you arrive in the small German town of Bad Aibling, you’ll find yourself surrounded by picturesque rolling hills, charming colonial buildings, and cobblestone streets. The town is nestled along the River Mangfall, about 35 miles southeast of Munich, and has a long history as a haven for the country’s chronically ill. The German word “bad” (pronounced “bart”) translates directly to the English “spa,” in reference to the local springs whose waters were thought to have healing powers as early as 1845.


Illustration by Anuj Shrestha

Biotech researchers at MIT want to battle Lyme using CRISPR. What could go wrong?

This story is part of “Tickpocalypse,” a multi-part special report.


Researchers at the Cary Institute for Ecosystem Studies, in upstate New York, comb the woods in search of ticks. Photography by Kirsten Luce

Climate change and human sprawl have triggered a pandemic

This story is part of “Tickpocalypse,” a multi-part special report.


Illustration by Anuj Shrestha

A definitive guide

This story is part of “Tickpocalypse,” a multi-part special report.


The author has spent a decade fighting persistent Lyme disease symptoms — and convincing those who don’t believe him that his illness is real

Karl Bode in Lincoln Park, Seattle. Photography by Ian Bates

This story is part of “Tickpocalypse,” a multi-part special report.


What it’s like to be a creepy-crawler field researcher

Tick researchers Rick Ostfeld and Felicia Keesing at The Cary Institute. Photography by Kirsten Luce

This story is part of “Tickpocalypse,” a multi-part special report.

Elemental: Of all the things you could devote your professional lives to, you chose a creepy-crawly bug best known for transmitting a debilitating, sometimes even fatal, disease to humans and their children. Why?

Rick Ostfeld: I guess I’d say that…


Illustration by Anuj Shrestha

One mother reckons with her fear of the illness — and why it freaks us all out so much

This story is part of “Tickpocalypse,” a multi-part special report.


From birth to blood-sucking and beyond, how Ixodes Scapularis does its dirty work

This story is part of “Tickpocalypse,” a multi-part special report.


Illustration by Anuj Shrestha

The extremely rare complication you should know about

This story is part of “Tickpocalypse,” a multi-part special report.


The Nuance

More Americans have the disease than ever, but its scope and symptoms remain controversial

Photo by Bernard Weil/Toronto Star/Getty

Every week, the Nuance will go beyond the basics, offering a deep and researched look at the latest science and expert insights on a buzzed-about health topic.

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