That’s the title of a movie I just saw yesterday on Netflix. It’s basically a movie about 2 families who live in a town that’s been “terrorized” by Lyme disease. There is one character played by Timothy Hutton who has been experiencing chronic neurological problems. He says in the movie that he’s been diagnosed by doctors at different times with syphilis, Lyme disease and multiple sclerosis. Interesting, since Lyme disease is also called “the great imitator” (because it could mimic a lot of illnesses). Lyme disease has to be ruled out in cases such as chronic fatigue, fibromyalgia, psychiatric illness and autoimmune diseases (such as rheumatoid arthritis), among other things. How is it acquired? It’s primarily caused by a tick bite. Other possible routes of transmission (according to researchers) may include blood transfusion and mosquito bites. It’s scary considering that quite a huge percentage of infected people don’t have the characteristic bull’s eye rash. So, these people go undiagnosed, only to manifest later in life with chronic, debilitating symptoms. How is it diagnosed? Ideally, according to ILADS (International Lyme and Associated Diseases Society), it has to be a clinical diagnosis. However, most doctors are still relying on the not very sensitive commercial tests available. People who are actually infected may have negative test results. What’s the usual treatment? A short course of antibiotics. According to Dr. Stricker, one of the prominent LLMDs (Lyme-literate medical doctors) challenging the IDSA (Infectious Disease Society of America) guidelines, a short-course of antibiotics is not sufficient t0 eradicate the bacteria. It has been mentioned that Lyme disease is a zoonotic infection and as such, are programmed to be chronic infections. Anyway, what’s happening in real life is much more interesting than what happens in the movie. My advise, watch it for entertainment purposes.
- Chronic Lyme disease: How often is it diagnosed and treated? (eurekalert.org)
- DVD: Lymelife (independent.co.uk)
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