Questions on Lyme Disease
Questions about LYME Disease?
1.. Lyme disease is transmitted by the bite of a tick, and the disease is very prevalent across the United States and throughout the world.
2. Lyme disease (DRG 867) is a clinical diagnosis and may cause infection of multiple organs and produce a wide range of symptoms and should be used as a differential diagnosis in rheumatologic and neurologic conditions, with symptoms similar to Chronic Fatigue Syndrome, Fibromyalgia, Somatization Disorder, and any difficult-to-diagnose multi-system illness.
3. Fewer than 50% of patients with Lyme disease recall a tick bite or the “bull’s-eye” rash that is considered classic.
4. Many screening test can be unreliable. By definition, a screening test should have at least 95% in sensitivity as a result.
5. A vaccine for Lyme disease is currently unavailable.
6. When used as part of a diagnostic evaluation for Lyme disease, a “western blot” test should be performed by a special laboratory that is specifically known to read and report on Lyme results.
7. There are 5 subspecies of the Lyme spirochete (Borrelia Burgdorferi), over 100 other strains are known in the USA with 300 strains worldwide.
8. There has never been a study supporting that a 30 day antibiotic treatment would cure chronic Lyme disease. Short treatment courses (30 days) often have upwards of a 40% relapse rate.
9. Chronic Lyme disease requires prolonged treatment until the patient is symptom-free. Relapses may occur and often retreatment is required.
10. Lyme disease has been called “the great imitator” and should be considered in the differential diagnosis of many patients with symptoms of rheumatologic and neurologic conditions.
BEST ADVICE: Be your own best advocate and be open and persistent with your doctor regarding your symptoms. Keep a detailed written record that includes prescribed treatments and their effects.