Lyme Disease Still Going Undiagnosed

Lyme disease causes a host of symptoms – from types of arthritis, to heart troubles; from large lesions or rashes, to dementia. Various types of Borrelia burgdorferi, injected into the bloodstream by ticks and aided by anticoagulants and immunosuppressants, are well known to be the cause. Beyond this, it’s readily treatable, testing is reliable and we’re fully aware of it’s infectious potential. But this paper from The Drexel University College of Medicine believes we’re outright ignoring its impact [1]:

There are about 30,000 confirmed cases per year in the United States, but the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recently estimates that the true number of cases may be 300,000 given under- reporting of the disease. This number may also be incorrect; a recent analysis reveals the “true” number may be 1 million in 8 nationwide surveys. In Maryland, an endemic region, the annual economic impact of chronic illness associated with Lyme disease if $16,199 per patient.

The idea of it being somewhere between 90% and 99.97% undiagnosed is a travesty. What’s doubly surprising is that this isn’t an unknown thing; there are entire papers purely about this dispicable failing of the medical system. In a paper aptly titled Overview of Lyme Disease: Critique of an Ignored Pandemic [2], the author describes just how atrocious this is:

Lyme disease clearly meets the definition of a pandemic and yet the silence about what to do, given the extent of the damage it is doing, is a conundrum that does not reflect well on humanity’s ability (at least the part of humanity that deals with treating disease) to deal with infectious issues that have some moderate complexity to them. Modern medicine has failed miserably to meet the needs of the millions infected and the woefully inadequate response implies modern medicine is oblivious to what is taking place. If all the obfuscation surrounding Lyme disease has something to do with the lack of some big company being able to take financial advantage of the crisis then that would be sad and a reflection of our dysfunctional approach to reality, hopefully that is all that this is about.

Though much of his statements feel speculative, it’s hard not to somberly agree. For the original research check out these two papers, or to read about another development on a chronic condition, check out our recent article on diabetes,

Sources:
[1]Clinical And Experimental Dermatology Research
[2]International Journal of Current Advanced Research
[Original Image]Pixabay

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