This is the last blog for now about Lyne disease. Last time we talked about prevention. Now let's talk about some of the myths surrounding the disease.
1. Any tick can carry Lyme. That is not true, the bacteria is carried only by the tiny deer tick. And humans can not get it from another human, only from the deer tick.
2. When you see a deer tick, burn or suffocate them with gasoline or nail polish. You do have 24 to 36 hrs to get the tick off after being bitten. The most effective way is to gently pull the tick away from the skin and make sure the tick mouth comes along with the tick.
3. If you have been infected with Lyme Disease, you cannot be infected again. That is not true, there is no limit to how often you can be infected by Lyme.
4. It is difficult to treat and cure Lyme Disease. The treatment is actually very effective if treatment starts in the first month or so after acquiring the disease. Basic antibiotics are used. The classic rash at the site of the bite is very helpful if present as a sign of early Lyme , but unfortunately many people never get the rash. Checking antibodies to Lyme is very useful but it takes the body at least a few weeks to make the antibodies.
5. Chronic Lyme is common and causes long term major symptoms. Many people believe that chronic fatigue and joint pain or arthritis and other chronic pain is due to the lingering impact of Lyme. Although there are many people that suffer such symptoms there is no evidence that Lyme causes such symptoms. The confusion arises because when people get a blood test to look for Lyme the test often comes back with some positive findings. But the CDC standard for diagnosing Lyme demands that at least 5 or the 10 antibody bands that are part of the Lyme testing scheme be positive for a doctor to use the test to make a diagnosis of Lyme. Many people in the regular population have one or two positive bands and thus this is not a diagnosis. But i have seen a number of patients who believe they have Lyme because one or two bands are positive on the blood test. Again, there is no science to date to support a diagnosis of chronic Lyme.