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A dubious diagnosis for Lyme disease

Chicago Tribune, December 8, 2010

Lyme disease is real. The bacterial infection, chiefly transmitted by deer ticks, can cause rashes, swollen joints and inflamed nerves, and usually is curable with a round of antibiotics. But doctors around the country are telling patients with common medical problems such as back pain, poor concentration and fatigue that their ailments stem from a chronic form of Lyme disease that can evade standard treatment and wreak havoc for years. To fight what they believe is a persistent infection, the doctors often order months or years of intravenous antibiotics, which can cost tens of thousands of dollars. Strong evidence isn't on their side. But in a golden age of dubious medicine, that doesn't matter.