Lyme disease gets its name from the Connecticut town, and it’s always been a problem here...but it’s spreading, as far North as Maine and south down to Virginia. Dr. Paul Mead of the CDC says that due in part to the “reforestation” of the Northeast.
The CDC estimates that there are about 300,000 people infected every year...but only about 10% are reported. Why is that? One reason is the lack of a good diagnostic test to determine who has the disease, making it harder to diagnose and treat. To complicate matters further, doctors less familiar with the disease are treating some people who aren’t sick and not treating some that are. And, if doctors are having trouble with diagnosis, how good are we at spotting the symptoms when we see them?
Today, we talk to someone from the CDC, a local doctor who’s an expert on Lyme, and a journalist following the Lyme wars.
Dr. Paul Mead is the Chief of Epidemiology and Surveillance Activity for the Bacterial Diseases Branch, Division of Vector-borne Diseases, National Center for Emerging Zoonotic Infectious Diseases, at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention
Dr. Steven Luger is a family practice physician with Hartford Healthcare Medical Group and a national expert on Lyme disease
Beth Daley is an environmental reporter for the Boston Globe