A few months ago, the CDC finally publicly admitted that Lyme cases were vastly under-reported in the US. One of the main reasons this happened is because their surveillance criteria are set so restrictive. I can understand why (so they don’t include cases that are guesses) but at the same time aren’t they pointing out that the diagnostic quality of the tests for Lyme (early and late) are terrible?
They have also said, in the fine print usually, that positive tests are not needed to make a diagnosis of Lyme disease . Let’s forget about the bull’s eye rash cases for now, since those are usually pretty clear. They also mean there is no lab test positivity needed for Lyme without a bull’s eye rash and that it can be diagnosed on clinical symptoms as well. This is usually missed by mainstream medicine, partly because the IDSA has their little guidelines for diagnosing Lyme that say you must have a positive ELISA and western blot.
The CDC making this admission now is very important because it, in a sideways sort of way, says: Yes, the diagnostic ability of the lab tests are awful so we can’t keep an eye on Lyme patient surveillance numbers that way. Also, the IDSA guidelines aren’t helping the matter. Now we (the CDC) have an agenda for putting this number out now that will help us more than the fact that we lied to the American people will hurt us.
It also very clearly says (I believe) that the way things are now, if providers do NOT want to continue to miss a HUGE chunk of people with an illness where it is extremely important to catch it as quickly as possible, they will have to clinically diagnose Lyme disease, learn the symptoms and STOP relying on lab tests to do the hard part of your job.
More than likely, though, the CDC is just gearing up to promote the newest not-a-vaccine vaccine they have been working on … for a disease the IDSA has said over and over (and the CDC agreed with) is hard to catch, easy to treat.
Because that, of course, is the best sort of disease to target with a vaccine. Amirite? 0___0