NEWS: Florida doctors reluctant to diagnose Lyme disease
The Tampa Tribune looks at how hard it is to get properly diagnosed with Lyme disease in Florida. "We're lepers," says one advocate. "We can't get treatment. We are the new HIV/AIDS patients and we are being ignored by physicians and if they do let us know we have Lyme disease, they tell us to go to New York. We can't all fly to New York for treatment."
From the Tampa Tribune:
Researchers: Florida doctors reluctant to diagnose Lyme disease
By Keith Morelli, the Tampa Tribune
January 24, 2011
For more than two years, Dolores Claesson has fought a microscopic enemy, a germ passed into her 17-year-old daughter, Sofia, by a sesame seed-size tick.
If caught early, Lyme disease could have been easily treated, said Dolores Claesson, who runs a support group and manages a widespread network of Lyme disease patents and researchers. But because the malady has not really found a home in Florida yet, she said, doctors here are reluctant to diagnose it.
And some medical researchers agree, saying many doctors simply are complying with a study by the Infectious Diseases Society of America that warns against over-diagnosing Lyme disease because its symptoms are so complex and mimic other ailments.
In Sofia’s case, doctors misdiagnosed her disease and mistreated it, stretching her sickness from days to months and eventually years. Now, her immune system is depleted and she is a perfect host to any virus that comes along, her mom said. Just this week, the teen spent eight hours in a doctor’s office getting an intravenous antibiotic drip.
In October 2008, Sofia contracted a high fever, a sore throat and her doctor said it was mono, Dolores Claesson said, and referred the teen to other physicians.
“A pediatric physician said it was fatigue syndrome,” Claesson said, “that it was hormonal and common among high achieving girls. He told me to take her on a 20-minute walk three times a week and she would be fine.” The doctor also advised Claesson to take her daughter to a psychiatrist.
Read the rest of the article here.