Myth 1:Lyme disease isn't in California. BRACE YOURSELF. It's in California, yes, SOUTHERN California, and all states of the US. It's the fastest growing infectious disease in the country, surpassing AIDS. Forget SARS, forget the Bird Flu.
Myth 2:Lyme always has a bulls-eye rash. DON'T WE WISH. 70% of people infected with Lyme never get a rash. Never. Yet doctors take the absence of a rash to rule Lyme out.
Myth 3:You can feel the tick bite you. SORRY. The tick anaesthetizes your skin as it bites you. You get sick. You never know it happened.
Myth 4:Twenty-one days of antibiotics will cure you. WRONG AGAIN. A much longer term of antibiotics is needed.
Myth 5:If you test negative for Lyme, you don't have it. REALLY WRONG. The Lyme serology (ELISA) test is wrong with false negatives AND false positives up to 40% of the time! Its nearly useless. Lyme is a clinical diagnosis. A doctor who knows about Lyme says you have it, not a test. Side note: Only a couple of labs in the US specialize in tick-borne illness testing, and they are not the labs your doctor is likely to send your blood to.
Myth 6:You can't get Lyme from someone else. FALSE. It appears that it can be transmitted in utero to a fetus. And research is pointing to sexual transmission of tick-borne illnesses. Sorry!
Myth 7:My doctor recognizes Lyme. BUY A LOTTERY TICKET INSTEAD. Most people are misdiagnosed and treated for other conditions. They are told they have: the flu, chronic fatigue, fibromyalgia, arthritis, multiple sclerosis, heart conditions, migraines, seizure disorders, chemical sensitivities, panic attacks, psychological issues, ALS and lupus. Many are told they are chronic complainers and need to get a better sex life.
The average length of time from the onset of symptoms to the diagnosis of Lyme disease is four and a half years. Protect yourself and your family. Don't get ticked!