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Common Beliefs About Lyme Disease

False: Any tick bite can transmit Lyme disease

True: Only deer ticks and western black-legged ticks infected with the bacterium Borrelia burgorferi can transmit Lyme disease.

False: Everyone who gets Lyme disease gets a rash.

True: About 1/4 of patients with Lyme disease never get a rash.

False: Blood should be tested for Lyme disease as soon as possible after a tick bite.

True: Blood tests for Lyme disease usually cannot detect infection until about 2 to 6 weeks after the tick bite has occurred.

False: A positive ELISA test proves Lyme disease.

True: A positive ELISA test by itself never proves Lyme disease because the result can be a false positive.

False: All patients with Lyme disease should be treated with IV antibiotic therapy.

True: Oral antibiotic therapy is often just as effective in fighting Lyme disease as IV antibiotic therapy.

False: Lyme disease is incurable.

True: Lyme disease is a curable and preventable infection.

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