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Postgrad Med. 1989 Apr;85(5):303-8, 313-4.

Lyme disease. The hidden pandemic.

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Laboratory Service, Alvin C. York Veterans Administration Medical Center, Murfreesboro, TN 37130.


Physicians will recognize Lyme disease faster if they maintain a high index of suspicion in a young patient with arthritis accompanied by negative rheumatoid factor and antinuclear antibody in combination with cardiac conduction problems or lymphocytic meningitis. The Lyme spirochete (Borrelia burgdorferi) has notable sensitivity to tetracycline, penicillin, and erythromycin; therefore, proper and complete treatment of the disease, once it is identified, can be easily achieved. Finkel observed that Lyme disease manifests itself as a "great imitator," as do many disorders caused by a spirochete. The total impact of Lyme disease on public health will be known only when the disease is fully recognized, consistently reported, and adequately managed.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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