LYME DISEASE: A PATIENT'S GUIDE
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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