E arly diagnosis and treatment are essential to restore patients to health and to prevent progression of the disease to late or chronic Lyme disease, which is much harder to treat. Lyme disease is a clinical diagnosis—based on the patient’s medical history, symptoms and exposure to ticks. Many people with Lyme disease are misdiagnosed. Delay in diagnosis of Lyme disease is common. Approximately 60% of patients with chronic Lyme disease are not diagnosed for at least two years.
In May, LymeDisease.org launched a symptom checklist to assist patients and physicians in the diagnosis of Lyme disease. The checklist helps people document exposure to Lyme disease and provides a print out that people can share with their physicians. It asks basic questions such as have you been exposed to a tick habitat, do you recall being bitten by a tick, have you had a red expanding skin rash, and typical symptoms of Lyme disease.
Approximately 60% of patients with chronic Lyme disease are not diagnosed for at least 2 years.
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