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Reasons Why Lyme Disease Is
Perez-Lizano, June 2010
Geographic Distribution of Ticks in the United States - CDC Maps 2012
Note to Reader;
Lyme disease may well be the most underdiagnosed medical condition in
the United States. Some reasons for this are given below. Many are
related to monetary considerations. Supporting detail for these reasons
is given in the full version of this document. Link
to full version URL
ELISA screening test recommended by the CDC is, at best, poor, failing
to detect 50% or more of Lyme disease cases even under optimal
conditions. Strain variations complicate testing. The unsatisfactory
state of Lyme disease testing prompted a U.S Senate directive
Public Law 107-116 signed in 2002. “The Committee recognizes
the current state of laboratory testing for Lyme disease is very poor."
The CDC and FDA were instructed to develop accurate tests.
standard presentation of
disease can present in a variety of ways. The
can be misdiagnosed as fibromyalgia, MS, Parkinson’s, CFS,
Gehrig’s, arthritis, cardiac problems, Alzheimer’s, ADD, vision and
hearing problems, and other conditions, including psychiatric disorders.
surveillance purposes, the CDC has issued
to include only “certain” cases of Lyme disease. Perhaps fewer than 5%
or 10% of proven Lyme disease cases can meet these criteria.
Laboratories are forced to report results as “positive” or “negative”
depending on whether they meet the CDC surveillance case definition.
Uninformed doctors mistake the CDC case definition as diagnostic
low “reported” cases
addition to CDC surveillance criteria causing
reported cases, most state health agencies are not well informed and
may not report Lyme disease for various reasons, including the disease
may have been acquired elsewhere. Most doctors mistakenly interpret low
or no reported figures to mean Lyme disease in their state is rare or
reliable tick and
tick borne disease studies
studies outside of recognized endemic areas
tend to be
outdated or badly executed. Hence, tick borne diseases tend to be
ignored in areas not recognized to be endemic.
Society of America (IDSA)
IDSA Lyme guidelines are issued by a few
blatant conflicts of interest and present flawed and biased
information. These guidelines, the subject of an antitrust
investigation, are used by most doctors because they are heavily
publicized. The IDSA, with CDC backing, is the entity most responsible
for the unhealthy state of affairs in Lyme disease.
Centers for Disease
at the CDC have their own conflicts of
Lyme disease. Mostly, these have to do with financial interests in
tests and vaccines. The IDSA appears to be a dominant influence on the
CDC which promotes the IDSA Lyme disease guidelines. Some IDSA Lyme
guideline authors are former employees of the CDC or advisors to the
CDC. Conversely, some CDC employees are advisors to IDSA.
expense to HMO’s
IDSA/CDC limited definition of Lyme disease,
serodiagnostic criteria, limited treatment approach, and
that Lyme disease can be a chronic infection are embraced by HMO’s and
medical insurers to minimize risk of potential expenses.
enforcement and licensure threats
are numerous cases of harassment against
Lyme disease outside of IDSA guidelines. Many IDSA authors have
testified against these physicians. Some states have adopted
legislation to prevent this abuse. Many doctors will not help Lyme
media’s role in
promoting public and medical ignorance
do the media question the CDC/IDSA Lyme
They simply parrot and disseminate this information to the unsuspecting
consumer, including doctors.
treatment of undiagnosed Lyme disease
financial bonanza for drug companies.
funding for Lyme disease has been
concentrated to a
few mainly connected with IDSA. One result is that the research has
number of patents related to Lyme disease has
diseases that Lyme disease can mimic, such as MS or Parkinson’s
disease. Lack of significant scientific progress in Lyme disease may be
partially explained by the protection of monetary turf by these patent
IDSA/CDC two-tier test approach, a positive
Western Blots, is a financial windfall to testing laboratories and test
patent holders but a detriment to diagnosis.
impact on disease
charities built around diseases that can
disease amount to many hundreds of millions of dollars. If a
substantial number of these diseases were found to be misdiagnosed Lyme
disease, revenues for these specialized charities would likely suffer.
specialty diseases doctors
impact would be the same as for disease
income of these specialized doctors.
recognition of the prevalence and
aspects of Lyme
disease could place a large burden on disability payments.
impact on tourism
and real estate prices
agencies and real estate professionals
minimize the prevalence of Lyme disease.
prefer that Lyme disease not be
geographic threat or a serious health threat. This is particularly true
for those who employ outdoor workers.
knowledgeable observers have suggested that
important contributor to the poor state of affairs in Lyme disease,
including the lack of quick and reliable diagnostic methods and lack of
a cure. There is no doubt that Lyme disease is being studied for
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