CDC Serves Up Same Old Wrongheaded Lyme Advice Ignoring patient feedback will likely lead to more cases of chronic Lyme down the road as early cases are missed.

By Dorothy Kupcha Leland

Center for Disease Control and Prevention O n the face of it, the CDC-sponsored webinar Lyme Disease Updates and New Educational Tools for Clinicians seemed like a good idea. I mean, don’t we WANT doctors to have the latest information about Lyme and other tick-borne infections?

Alas, the word “updates” in the title is a complete misuse of that term. A more accurate description would be “regurgitating obsolete, harmful ways to deny appropriate diagnosis and treatment to Lyme patients while ignoring pertinent recent research.”

I recently watched the hour-long presentation with increasing dismay as the CDC’s earnest-sounding presenter, Grace E. Marx, MD, MPH, meticulously emphasizes such points as:

  1. A tick must be attached 24–36 hours before it can transmit Lyme.
    Fact: There’s no grace period for tick bites. Let’s quit implying that there is.
  2. In the US, almost all cases of Lyme occur in fifteen states and the District of Columbia.
    Fact: Lyme has been found in all fifty states and is on the rise.
    See Also: How much does the CDC undercount Lyme disease? It depends on where you live.
  3. After a tick bite, a single dose of doxycycline can prevent Lyme disease from developing
    Fact: A single dose of doxy after a tick bite only prevents rash—not Lyme disease.

“Pretest probability”

Dr. Marx spends a lot of time telling doctors that they should not even test for Lyme disease if the “pretest probability” is low, like if you are not in one of those previously referenced fifteen states or the District of Columbia. Thus, people in low-incidence states should NOT be tested for Lyme disease—period……..Join or login below to continue reading.

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