Well it’s springtime once again. Flowers are blooming, love is in the air, and hopefulness abounds for one and all.
Except infectious disease specialists: for us, spring signals the start of Lyme season, a months-long slog through patient doubt and acrimony that makes us root for the bitter bite of winter to still the hopping, blood-sucking advance of the tick. April is indeed the cruelest month, not only breeding lilacs from the dead but awakening countless nymph ticks from a months-long slumber, each desperate to find a leg or hairy back to set up shop and take a vampiric meal.
First described almost 40 years ago, little has changed about Lyme diagnostics or treatment in the last few decades. What has happened however is the birth and continued growth of a group of patients who have chased the concept of the condition called “chronic Lyme disease” to the ends of science and beyond. Chronic Lyme is a protean disease said to affect primarily neurologic function; the remedy, according to believers in the syndrome, is long-term, if not indefinite, courses of intravenous antibiotics.