A mother recently denied medical treatment for her kids at the Northwest Arkansas Pediatric Clinic.
She’s seeking answers after she says two of her kids tested positive for Lyme Disease.
Alarie Bowerman says her 3 kids contracted the disease while on a girl scout trip in Lowell this summer.
“They had the classic symptoms they had the bulls eye rash, they had the joint pain, they had fevers and had flu like symptoms, yet we were denied treatment for at least two of them and I don’t understand how this is legal,” said Bowerman.
Bowerman said when her kids returned home from their girl scout trip she pulled off more than 20 ticks between the three of them.
Bowerman said two of her girls took a blood test at Northwest Arkansas Pediatric Clinic that confirmed they had Lyme Disease. But she says the clinic told her it was likely a false positive.
We reached out to the clinic for comment and they referred me to the Arkansas Department of Health.
“We don’t have Lyme Disease in Arkansas we have the ticks that transmit Lyme Disease but we don’t have any recorded cases of Lyme Disease.” said Dr. Naveen Patil, Director of the Infectious Disease Program, ADH.
According to the Centers for Disease Control, the last reported case of Lyme Disease in Arkansas was in 2004.
We asked ADH how it’s possible for Lyme Disease to just disappear after 2004, and the department says it’s because those cases originated out of state, even though Arkansas ticks are infected and still biting.
“The ticks basically feed on lizards and deer and other rodents so that’s why the transmission cycle is not maintained that’s why we do not have the disease here in Arkansas,” Dr Patil said.
Bowerman doesn’t buy it.
She received a letter from the Northwest Arkansas Pediatric Clinic on August 30th.
It says doctors could no longer treat her children because she consistently questioned their medical advice and recommendations.
Lorraine Johnson, the CEO of lymedisease.org said just because a condition might not be common doesn’t mean it doesn’t exist.
“If somebody’s symptomatic, and has a positive Lyme test and has been physician diagnosed, it seems likely,” Johnson said.
And surrounding states like Kansas do recognize the disease in humans.Bowerman traveled three and a half hours to get her kids diagnosed and treated.
“It can happen to anybody, everybody is a bite away from being in the same situation as we are,” Bowerman said.
During our investigation we were not able to find a Lyme Disease Specialist in all of Arkansas.
Bowerman recommends if you think you have Lyme Disease to go out of state if you think you need treatment.