01/11/02 - 13:07:28
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pretend you live where i do - a suburb of philly that now i beleive ranks second most endemic area in the country. now, lets pretend you get this wierd round bite/rash, or you've been sick since the summer w/wierd symptoms and getting sicker. your g.p. is clueless as to what it is and people have suggested you may have lyme. read the following article and vote for which dr you would make an appt. with. their real names are in the original article, but i will just call them dr.x, dr.y, and dr.z. if your up for it, give a reason for your vote.|
Wednesday, May 31, 2000
Doctors split over Lyme treatment
BY John Corcoran
Some physicians claim the disease has chronic symtoms that require long-term treatment, but others say the current short-term metthods are sufficient.
a quiet , but bitter , controversy has erupted among physicians nationwide over Lyme disease. Doctors who treat area pateints with the debilitating bacterial infection are split as well.
"this in as are that has become unfortunately , emotional," said Dr X, chief of medicine at Abington Memorial Hospital.
On one side of the debate are Dr Allen C. Steere of Boston, the physician who first identified Lyme disease 25 years ago, and the majority of docters who beleive it can be sucessfully treated with 30 days of antibiotics.
Symptoms that persist after treatment are probably caused by something else, according to these doctrs, such as chronic fatigue syndrome, diseaes with similar symptoms such as lupus or multiple sclerosis or psychiatric illness.
Dr.X and Dr.Y , chief of infectious disease control at Abington Memorial Hospital , fall on Steere's side of the debate.
"Anyone , outside Allen Steere, who calls themselves a Lyme Disease specialist isn't." said Dr.Y, a certified infectious disease specialist.
"Allen Steere is Mr. Lyme Disease , "he said.
On the other side are docters like Dr Joseph Burrascanno of New York and Dr.Z., internists and family physicians, sho say some people suffer from chronic or long-term Lyme disease and need to be treated with antibiotics for the long term.
Dr.Z, recently appointed medical adviser to the National Lyme Desease Initiative in Congress by U.S. Sen. Rick Santorum, R-PA., and U.S. Rep. Cris Smith, R-NJ. , said patients who are chronically ill with those symptoms need to be treated with antibiotics for three to six months.
What many doctors fail to recognize is that some people with Lyme disease are also inected with babesia, erlichiosis and Rocky Mountain spotted fever, which are also carried by ticks , he said.
"I call it the Lyme disease complex," Dr Z said. "It's not just Lyme disease."
Lyme disease is transmitted by tiny black deer ticks and , if left untrteated , can cause swollen joints, headaches, irregular heartbeats, arthritis and nervous disorders.
Ther were 2,661 cases in Pennsylvania in 1998, the last year in which figures are available. There were 465 cases in Montgomery County , 455 cases in Bucks County and 617 cases reported in Chester County, the three highest int the state that year, said Rich McGarvey, spokesman for the sfor the state Health Department.
"THe five-county area surrounding Philadelphia sees the majority of the cases in the state,"McGarvey said. "most of the others are under five, although some have upwards of twenty."
Dr Z said he became interested in Lyme disease when his wife contracted it while he was in medical school in Iowa 10 years ago and
became 80% deaf and 50% blind. He said that he spent years seeking treatment for her and that she has now recovered her sight but is still 40% deaf.
He said he studied the disease under Dr. ---- -----, an internist in Jackson Nj., and currently treats hundreds of patients with Lyme. Dr Z said he has treated thousands from as far away as Japan, South America and South Africa.
DrX, who is board certified in internal medicine and infectious disease and has been chief of medicine at Abington for 10 years, diagnosed the first case of Lyme disease in this are in 1983.
He questioned the number of patients DrZ claims to have treated with Lyme disease.
"I have not treated thousands of patients with Lyme disease," he said. " I look for it, and when I find it, I treat it"
DrX also questioned DrZ's diagnosis of multiple tick-borne infections.
"There's just no proof of that," he said. "to my knowlege, babesia has never been reported in anyone in Pennsylvania. It is not in this area.
"It's pushing the known science to suggest that people have multiple concurrent infections with these organisms the majority of the time," he said.
drY said long term antibiotic treatments being prescribed by doctors who don't accept the prescribed treatment for Lyme diseae are creating a lot of problems , including drug toxickity , drug allergy an dlife-threatening blood infections from the use of long-term catheters to administer antibiotics.
DrX said he's open to the possibility that there are people who suffer from chronic Lyme disease, but he said there are many more who think they have the disease and probably do not.
"I'm willing to listen to anyone who is willing to show me the science," he said.
Until that happens, long-term antibiotic treatments are not approppiate, Dr X said.
"I can't treat patients based on speculation," he said "We can't do something that's going to harm them."
this was on the front page. gosh, that took a long time to type. i think i corrected all the mistakes.
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