Lyme disease is the fast growing vector-borne, infectious disease in the United States. Surprised? Many people I talk to have heard of lyme disease but really don’t know anything about it. So how is it possible that it is having such an enormous impact on the health of our country?
Here are some other facts that may surprise you:
- There are 5 subspecies of Borrelia Burgdorferi (the bacteria we refer to as lyme disease) with over 100 strains in the US and over 300 strains worldwide.
- The CDC estimates there are 300,000 new lyme cases in the US each year. (That’s 25 times what it was in 1982).
- There are NO accurate tests available to diagnose lyme disease. The common Elisa test you receive at your doctor’s office misses 35% of culture proven Lyme disease. Some studies indicate up to 50% of the patients tested for Lyme disease receive false negative results.
- Fewer than 50% of patients with lyme disease recall a tick bite.
- Fewer than 50% of patients with lyme disease recall any rash.
- Up to 50% of ticks in endemic areas are infected.
- 40% of lyme patients end up with long term health problems.
- The average lyme patient sees 5 doctors over 2 years before being diagnosed.
The onset of Lyme disease symptoms can be easily mistaken for other illnesses. Once symptoms are more evident the disease may have already entered the central nervous system, and could be hard to cure.
- 40% of lyme patients treated with short term antibiotics have results in relapse.
There has never been a study demonstrating that 30 days of antibiotic treatment cures chronic Lyme disease. However there is much documentation demonstrating that short courses of antibiotic treatment fail to eradicate the Lyme spirochete.
Prevent Lyme Disease:
Tickborne Disease Prevention Guide