According to Time Magazine, “Lyme disease is not only becoming more rampant in its normal hotspot of the northeast US, but it’s spreading across the country, a new report from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention warns.” (CDC removed the press release that the article originally linked to – I wonder why…)
“Over time, the number of counties identified as having high incidence of Lyme disease in the northeastern states increased more than 320 percent,” researchers write in the report. They also note that the disease is appearing in states where its never been recorded before.” the article says.
According to Dr. Steven Phillips this last phenomenon has more to do with the reporting criteria of the CDC. He cites a recent survey of doctors across the country (see below).
Dr. Steven Phillips, the past-president of ILADS and LLMD from Wilton CT recently spoke at Norvect in Oslo, Norway to a crowd of European doctors. He gave a clear and concise report on chronic Lyme disease and the unique complications and issues that confront the chronically ill.
He also shares the story about his Dad – a poignant and intensely personal story of how Lyme disease can look like something else. In his father’s case it was heart problems that developed into a life-threatening condition. Over decades of increasingly more severe symptoms not one cardiologist considered a bacterial cause for his disease and it was only after 20 years when faced with the need for a heart transplant that Dr. Phillips stepped in and suggested a Lyme test. Of course the Lyme test was inconclusive by the senior Phillips opted to try antibiotics as a last resort before surgery. Yes, you guessed it, he recovered (after 3 years of large doses of antibiotics.)
As you know, Lyme carditis is a very real threat to people who have Lyme disease. Some people who die from Lyme carditis don’t even know they have Lyme disease! See “Lyme Disease Can Be Fatal – Beware of Lyme Heart Attacks!“
At Norvect Dr. Phillips presented the following statistics from a survey that was given to doctors across the country (regardless of the IDSA guidelines, there are still family doctors who are trying to help their patients get better!)
39% treated their sick patients less than 4 weeks of antibiotics
20% treated their patients 5 – 8 weeks of antibiotics
36% treated their patients greater than 8 weeks of antibiotics
Additionally, 90% of chronic cases were coming from states with low incidence (according to CDC) – Dr. Phillips surmised that in those states doctors were less educated about Lyme and therefore less inclined to try antibiotics if the ELISA is negative.
It amazes me how trained doctors insist that a negative ELISA means you can’t possibly have Lyme disease!