Chronic Lyme Disease: Myth or reality?


Chronic Lyme Disease: Myth or Reality?

Lyme disease, caused by the bacteria Borrelia burgdoferi, is the most commonly reported vector borne disease in the United States. Most of human cases are reported in the Northeastern and Midwestern of North America.

Reported Cases of Lyme Disease-2011

Reported Cases of Lyme Disease-2011


The disease is transmitted by a deer tick when it feeds on a human being. This infection is treated with antibiotics and most patients recover without any complications.

Unfortunately, some patients continue to have subjective symptoms despite receiving appropriate antibiotic therapy. Persistent symptoms have been described by the medical community through the Infectious Disease Society of America (IDSA) as Post Lyme Disease syndrome. Others claim that chronic fatigue syndrome is associated with Lyme disease.

Protesters in San Diego at the Infectious Disease society of America conference

Protesters in San Diego at the Infectious Disease society of America conference

Lyme disease protest


A small but vocal group believes these continued symptoms are the result of chronic Lyme disease. They disagree with current tests and treatment. Check out this video “Under our Skin’ Link: These advocacy groups have been politically active and effective in pushing Chronic Lyme disease into the mainstream.

Although the scientific evidence for chronic Lyme disease remains poor, there remains a lot of controversy. We believe that two major steps must be addressed:

1) More independent research using proper scientific tools needs to be funded into Lyme disease.

2) The IDSA has been very poor at engaging and communicating with the public. Having scientific evidence on your side is not enough, if it is not explained in a coherent, easily understandable manner.

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One Response to “Chronic Lyme Disease: Myth or reality?”

  1. mcdonsrun Says:

    This is an excellent and succinct blog over a real problem in American medicine. I am a recently retired pediatrician in Virginia and I saw a fair amount (perhaps 2 dozen cases) of Lyme Disease for someone in primary care. All but 2 cases were Stage 1, the other 2 were Stage 2 with joint involvement. Fortunately I never had to deal with a patient complaining of “chronic Lyme” but all of my adult medicine colleagues had some exposure to this. There are also some fringe MDs offering expensive care for this questionable condition, usually with no insurance coverage or at least with lots of out of pocket expense.
    With Lyme Disease there are objective physical findings, There are clinical staging criteria. There are fairly reliable tests. Some people with vague, chronic fatigue or fibromyalgia type symptoms after being diagnosed (or not) with Lyme may not have “chronic Lyme” but rather some functional, nonspecific and transient condition which needs to be addressed properly and not as a chronic infection (in my opinion)

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