Lyme Disease: The Hidden Epidemic Raphael B. Stricker, M.D.

Lyme disease is one of the most controversial illnesses in the history of medicine.1,2 Over the past

decade, two opposing camps have emerged in the controversy over this tick-borne illness. One

camp is represented by the Infectious Diseases Society of America (IDSA), which maintains that

Lyme disease is a rare illness localized to well-defined areas of the world.3,4 According to IDSA,

the disease is ‘hard to catch and easy to cure’ because the infection is rarely encountered, easily

diagnosed in its early stage by means of accurate commercial laboratory tests and effectively

treated with a short course of antibiotics over 2-4 weeks. Chronic infection with the corkscrewshaped

Lyme spirochete, Borrelia burgdorferi, is rare or non-existent.3,4 The IDSA view is based

on the work of a small group of researchers who have little or no contact with Lyme disease

patients and use their limited research results to restrict clinical care for sick patients with

persistent Lyme disease symptoms.

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