In her book, “ Lyme: The First Epidemic of Climate Change”, Pfeiffer documents the spread of Lyme disease around the globe as ticks move to places they could not survive before. The disease infects half a million people in the US and Europe each year and thousands in many other countries. From 2006 to 2016, more than 20,000 cases were reported in Connecticut, which is believed to be one-tenth of the actual count. Pfeiffer will discuss how modern medicine has underestimated its danger by framing Lyme disease, mistakenly, as easy to diagnose and straightforward to treat. Pfeiffer’s reporting, which is based on scores of interviews and a review of more than 300 scientific papers, won her the Society of Professional Journalists’ Sigma Delta Chi award, among seven honors for her articles on Lyme disease.
Mary Beth Pfeiffer, has been a journalist for four decades. Since 2012, Pfeiffer has emerged as the nation’s leading investigative reporter on Lyme disease, attracting national and international attention and garnering seven awards for her groundbreaking articles on this tick-borne scourge. Reviewers have called her book “superbly written and researched”; “a powerful wakeup call”; and “a work of breadth and depth, impressively documented and elegant.”
Pfeiffer reported for 30 years for the Poughkeepsie (N.Y.) Journal, where her Lyme articles were first published. Her previous book is “Crazy in America: The Hidden Tragedy of the Criminalized Mentally Ill”, which has been called a testament to the inhumanity of prison solitary confinement. She resides in the Hudson Valley of New York.