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Minn Med. 2008 Jul;91(7):37-41.

Dispelling the chronic Lyme disease myth.

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Minnesota Department of Health, USA.


Lyme disease is a tick-borne illness endemic to Minnesota that can have potentially severe complications. As the incidence of Lyme disease continues to increase, it is important for physicians in Minnesota to become familiar with its clinical aspects, including the concept of "chronic Lyme disease." Chronic Lyme disease is a misnomer that is often applied to patients with nonspecific presentations who may or may not have a history of infection with Borrelia burgdorferi, the agent that causes Lyme disease. When a patient does present with persistent nonspecific symptoms attributed to chronic Lyme disease, clinicians should ascertain the presence of objective manifestations, obtain laboratory results, and get a history of tick exposure. If active infection with B. burgdorferi is unlikely, they should avoid prescribing empiric antibiotic therapy and instead thoroughly evaluate the patient for other possible causes of the complaints and recommend appropriate care.

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[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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