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Lyme Disease: A Patient's Story, A Doctor's Response

This article is more than 10 years old.
Barbara MacLeod at home in Kittery, Maine (Jesse Costa, WBUR)
Barbara MacLeod at home in Kittery, Maine (Jesse Costa, WBUR)

No one denies that Lyme disease can have long-term effects. The controversy arises around whether the Lyme infection can persist after antibiotic treatment, and whether longer-term antibiotics help. This is the nub of what some call the Lyme Wars, pitting some patients and a contingent of doctors against mainstream medical findings and guidelines. And today, we got a taste of the wars on WBUR's air, with Barbara MacLeod's harrowing story on Morning Edition and then, on All Things Considered, the beginnings of a response from Dr. Mark Drapkin, an infectious disease specialist at Newton-Wellesley Hospital and a professor at the Tufts University School of Medicine. On Friday, we'll hear him explain why he believes Lyme is not a chronic disease, but why people can have lingering effects from the infection.

The Lyme wars tend to get nasty. Barbara MacLeod was brave to tell her story, and Dr. Mark Drapkin is courageous to represent the mainstream infectious disease specialist's point of view. I can't wait to hear his fuller interview on Friday.

This program aired on June 26, 2012. The audio for this program is not available.

Carey Goldberg Editor, CommonHealth
Carey Goldberg is the editor of WBUR's CommonHealth section.



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