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Infectious Diseases

Lyme Disease Controversy

07/27/2005

Question:

From what I understand, the topic of Lyme Disease is a touchy one in the medical community. According to several leading Lyme Disease organizations, tests to diagnosis this disease are woefully inaccurate and unreliable. The "rub", therefore, seems to be that many doctors still base their diagnosis solely on the blood tests rather than making a clinical diagnosis as the Centers for Disease Control recommend. At the same time, there seems to be a "witch hunt" against doctors who "irresponsibly" prescribe antibiotics to patients whose blood tests didn`t definitely indicate the presence of Lyme. What is your take on the methods used to diagnosis this disease?

Answer:

All tests, including those for Lyme, are not perfect. The balance between endless use of needless antibiotics and never using them is the most complex component of the debate. For now, there is no answer.

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Response by:

Gary   Roselle, MD Gary Roselle, MD
Professor of Clinical Medicine
College of Medicine
University of Cincinnati