Chronic Lyme Disease
Lyme disease is a contentious illness, and the reality of chronic Lyme disease induced by unrelenting infection with the Lyme spirochete (Borrelia burgdorferi) is the topic of continued debate (Hogan 16). The objective of this paper is to analyze critically the claims of existence of the illness. The paper would also offer a discussion on why insurance companies should provide cover for patients suffering from the Lyme disease.
Chronic Lyme disease does exist. A greater part of the patients does not exhibit the initial symptoms of the Lyme infection. However, some patients show chronic symptoms, which persist long after the antibiotics are over. A tiny tick forms the foundation of the question as to whether the Lyme disease exists. The disease got its name in 1975 after its first diagnosis in Old Lyme. A well renowned infection transmitted through the bite of a deer tick the disease is responsible for around 30,000 diagnoses around the globe annually. The revealing symptoms of the disease include a red, spherical (bulls-eye) rash that forms on the skin after about 5-14 days after infection. Other symptoms include headache, fever, fatigue, joint pains and swollen lymph nodes. Majority of the patients diagnosed with the Lyme disease respond rapidly to short-term administration of antibiotics. A few patients develop lingering, persistent symptoms. These symptoms form the judgment that patients are suffering from the chronic Lyme disease. They require a long-term treatment of targeted antibiotics and supplements. The supplements are crucial in helping the body develop repair mechanisms against the adverse effects of the antibiotics (Institute of Medicine (U.S.). Committee on Lyme Disease and Other Tick-Borne Diseases: the State of the Science; National Academies Press 639).
Opponents who deny its existence flood the view over the existence of the disease. Their judgment follows the fact that is no scientific attestation to back its existence. This paper provides sufficient evidence to substantiate the existence of Lyme disease. Denying the severity and existence of the chronic Lyme disease hinders efforts to seek a solution. The important gaps in information reveal the need of new information to develop curative procedures for the illness. Various patients diagnosed with intense fatigue could instead have contracted the chronic Lyme disease. The no side is living in ignorance of the Lyme infection posing serious threats to the infected. A patient diagnosed with the illness is on record stating that the ignorance of the medical fraternity is causing hundreds of deaths of the Lyme disease patients. The debate over the disease is leading to wastage of time and resources (Institute of Medicine (U.S.). Committee on Lyme Disease and Other Tick-Borne Diseases: the State of the Science; National Academies Press 526). It further redirects attention from efforts to establish standard operating procedures for caring for patients.
A study conducted by the England journal of medicine discovered the cause of the persistent symptoms. The research established that it is not a single infection, but multiple new infections that lead to the phenomenon. A study analyzed the development of 17 patients with the classic erythema rash connected to the Lyme disease. The analysis took place more than once in a period of 20 years. They investigated the genetic make up of the chronic Lyme causing bacteria on the patients numerous times. Each time, they encountered varied strains of the bacteria, objecting relapses. This fact should put an end to the contention surrounding the existence of the Lyme disease. While the number of infected patients soars, the debate as to whether the disease can succumb to antibiotics is still ripe (Silkworth 621).
A short dose of antibiotics forms the initial diagnosis of the disease. Those patients diagnosed early usually exhibit a series of complications. The complications range from migratory joint pains and fatigue, to rashes and cardiac disorders. Medical experts are obligated to seek the root of the recurring infection after the initial treatment. Patients who develop recurring symptoms after the initial treatment normally have problems accessing subsequent care. As the illness persists, they continue to spend additional costs in trying to control it. This subjects them to the risk of exploitation by doctors who have no misgivings on subjecting a patient on antibiotics for a longtime.
A physician in the Northampton County who has practiced medicine for almost 26 years has treated many chronic Lyme disease cases (Josh 500). Some of the cases have been extreme to the extent that patients needed admission for many days. The doctor maintains that even though some of the cases have been life threatening, the casualties have recovered and returned to their normal lives.
The bacteria that cause the Lyme disease are quite sensitive to antibiotics. The key to a guaranteed treatment is early detection. It is hard to identify the Lyme disease in its initial stages; nevertheless, If the infection is left to develop into its late stages, minor damages may be caused on various nerves and tissues. The supplements administered alongside the antibiotics aid in repairing the tissues and nerves (Josh 256).
The disease is a contentious clinical conundrum. In the recent decade, two opposing units have emerged. The combat staged has been over this tick-borne disease. The face of one unit is the Infectious disease Society of America (IDSA). The camp holds that the disease is a rare illness limited to well-defined locations around the globe. They further hold that the illness is not easily infectious and is easy to cure. This is because medics diagnose it easily during its early stages. During diagnosis, experts apply unique clinical features. An accurate commercial laboratory trial comes in handy if the illness is at an advanced stage. This curtain raises the stage for a two-week period of anti-biotic administration. The short course of anti-biotic takes place for a period of two weeks. The chronic infection result from the Lyme spirochete (Borrelia burgdorferi) is non-existent or rare. The concept of the disease originates from faith-based opinion, as opposed to scientific-based evidence.
The opposing unit constitutes of the international Lyme and associated Disease Society (ILADS). Their argument is that Chronic Lyme disease is not rare (Silkworth 35). Rodents, for instance deers and birds, can transmit the disease. They further state that the disease exists in unpredictable locations around the world. Other tick-borne diseases could accompany the disease. This further complicates the clinical presentation. Commercial laboratory tests for the Lyme disease often are inaccurate. This is because many tick bites usually go unnoticed. As a result, the infection becomes hard to notice. This could persist in a large number of casualties; consequently requiring medics to apply a prolonged period of antibiotics to eradicate cases of persistent infection. Sources from the peer-reviewed scientific studies of the tick-borne disease support this point-of-view.
A recent viewpoint captured in the New England journal of Medicine hold that the illness does not exist. Even if, it does, the risks of a prolonged period of antibiotic treatment overshadow any benefits. A subsequent editorial section commends the fore mentioned journal. It applauds it for presenting the Lyme disease as the “Axis of Evil” that places the Lyme world in jeopardy. The first part of the article condemns physicians who execute prolonged antibiotic therapy without justification. The second part points a finger at the laboratories that offer false Lyme test results. The third part condemns the internet that offers incorrect information about the Lyme disease to frightened and gullible patients (Institute of Medicine (U.S.). Committee on Lyme Disease and Other Tick-Borne Diseases: the State of the Science; National Academies Press 234).
A high rate of Lyme disease infections across Delaware is another point of contention. The controversy centers on how health providers should administer treatment over Lyme disease patients. Majority of patients believe that a shortened period of antibiotic treatment clears the bacteria that cause the disease. The actual argument revolves around the 20% of patients who develop persistent fatigue and pain. One patient narrates her ordeal of how she started losing hair, a malfunctioned kidney and liver. She was wondering how the disease has persistently troubled her, whereas there are some casualties who get well in four weeks. In the end, she later discovered she had contracted the Lyme disease. However, critics refer to the diagnosis as dubious (Rosner, julie and Huckleberry 253).
New deer tick nymphs that have just hatched are tiny and hardly visible. When they bite, around half of the patients never experience early symptoms, like the bulls-eye rash, joint pains and headache. Moreover, the disease could mimic other tick-borne illnesses. This explains why many cases could pass unnoticed. The big swollen joints, neurological and cardiac complications are the late signs experienced in the lat stages of the infection.
The Centre for Disease control and prevention offers education and information over the Lyme disease. The centre upholds that they do not really acknowledge the disease, but the post-treatment Lyme disease syndrome. Doctors and patients who mentioned the term (chronic Lyme disease) are at odds with health officials, and the Infectious disease Society of America (Silkworth 100).
Chronic Lyme disease Illiteracy
A nurse practitioner at the Lancaster County hospital was on record stating that patients are not interested in the debates. What they need is an effective treatment that is free of imitating the traditional Lyme treatment methods. The hospital treats its patients with a combination of the traditional and alternative cures. Immune boosters and supplements also form the ingredient of the final medication. Antibiotics come in handy if the patient’s infection is active (Rosner, julie and Huckleberry 325). The management of the hospital confesses that there are no physicians in Delaware with substantial knowledge over the Lyme infection. Most of the casualties infected with the disease at the hospital come from Delaware. The management of the hospital reiterates that they apply the guidelines of the international Lyme and Associated Disease Society while administering their custom medicine to the patients.
A physician at the Johns Hopkins University clinic states that many of he patients who consult him do not test positive over the Lyme disease (Josh 425). Many of the patients contract the disease after subjection to tests at the Lyme specialty laboratories. These laboratories do not apply validated testing. They purport to test the Lyme disease better than the universal approved by FDA (Food and Drug Administration testing). This leads to unfounded claims that undermine the fight against the bacterial infection. This forms part of the evidence that mount that the Lyme disease exist and need urgent address. Four national institutions in the U.S. have carried out multiple trials to substantiate the existence of the disease. Recognizing that chronic Lyme disease exists could hinder strategies employed in finding a solution. The risk to society posed by the antibiotics needs a measure against the societal risks connected with failing to treat an emerging population. Medical practitioners should be encouraged to come up with guidelines on setting standard procedures for the Lyme infection.
Aside from facilitating the diagnosis of the Lyme disease, the standards of care would also aid in convincing insurance companies to provide cover for the disease. In the recent past, insurance companies are on record maintaining that the Lyme disease does not exist. A patient who offered medical cover by a particular insurance company does not get cover over the Lyme disease. Their argument is that the disease lacks standard medical practices like a scientific proof over its existence. The lack of information to support the diagnosis further complicates the ordeal of the patients. The insurance companies further state that the length of treatment and the antibiotic applied do not amount to the stipulated medical procedures. Upon the first claim, however, a patient could apply for a second claim, attaching a letter specifying the medical necessity and laboratory results.
The reality of the disease cannot hold simply because there is no scientific evidence. The deaths over the chronic Lyme disease should form the judgment of medics in establishing standards for care. The insurance companies are right in denying cover to the patients to some extent. Formality forms the major principle of most insurance companies. A sense of formality would aid the companies who are interested in standard procedures only. It does not make sense to provide cover for other illnesses and lock the chronic Lyme disease out. It further complicates the financial health of patients, who need ample financial backing to counter the illness.
Hogan, Mary. Chronic Fatigue Syndrome: The Facts. New york: Oxforfd University press.
Institute of Medicine (U.S.). Committee on Lyme Disease and Other Tick-Borne Diseases: the State of the Science; National Academies Press . Critical needs and gaps in understanding
, amelioration, and resolution of lyme and other tick-borne diseases: the short-term and long-term outcomes: workshop report. New york: national Academies press, 2007. Print
Josh, Bill. Nature’s Dirty Needle: What You Need to Know about Chronic Lyme Disease. New Y
ork: bush street press, 2003. print
Rosner, brian, buyers julie and Michael Huckleberry. The top 10 Lyme disease treatments:
defeat Lyme disease with the best of conventional and alternative medicine. South Lake
Tahoe: Biomed Publication group. 2007. print
Silkworth, Cynthia K. Individualized Healthcare Plans for the School Nurse. New York: Oxford,
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