Is the probability of detection of Lyme disease reduced by telling patients and doctors it does not exist here?

Is evidence adequate to state Lyme does not exist here?

  • Is there recent data?
  • What have other states found with increased detection effort?
  • How hard are we looking?

How much extra time does treatment take if patients are misdiagnosed initially?  How often is this occurring?

  • What are the long term costs to patients?

What are the implications for Montana of North Dakota’s recent surveys which found deer ticks infected with Lyme?

If our region’s belief in the lack of Lyme is based on the perception that deer ticks are not present, what is that idea based on?

  • Shouldn’t we be looking?
  • Do we have a strategy for detecting them if that status changes?
  • And for informing people which other ticks are also infecting humans and pets?

How many Borrelia species and strains are present in North America?

  • Is it adequate to be testing for only one?
  • What strain were Montanans contracting over the past decade that was reported on as a ‘Lyme-like illness from a related tick’?
  • Which species and strains are most likely?

What are the biggest factors making current testing so unreliable (other than only testing for one strain)?

  • If false negative rates are 65% or higher, how can patients know if they really are negative?
  • How many doctors test patients who have not left the state?

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