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Infectious Diseases

Is it easy to miss Lyme disease?

01/03/2005

Question:

My healthy young daughter was a camp counselor in MN for a summer and went straight to college from there. A month or so later she "had the flu", then she got a bout of Mononucleosis that lasted 9 months, she rested a lot over the summer, went back to school and got sick again. They are calling it a super virus, but I wonder if I should have her tested for Lyme disease. They ruled out a relapse of mono, now her spleen is enlarged and she is exhausted and achy most of the time. It`s been over a year and she just isn`t better, she`s losing the fight mode.

Answer:

Lyme disease is caused by a bacteria which is transmitted to humans by ticks.  There are lyme-carrying ticks in Minnesota.  A good resource can be found at the following website: 

www.cdc.gov/ncidod/dvbid/lyme/

Lyme testing is not always reliable (there can be false positive tests) so I would suggest you discuss this with your daughter's physician.

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Response by:

Peter Grubbs, MD
Assistant Professor
College of Medicine
University of Cincinnati