Because Lyme is so common, doctors often assume it is the sole problem in patients with tickborne infection, not recognizing newer diseases, says Durham’s doctor, Daniel J. Cameron, M.D., an internist and epidemiologist in Mount Kisco, New York, and past president of the International Lyme and Associated Diseases Society. It’s possible that undetected coinfections could help explain the medical mystery that is known as category 4, or "chronic," Lyme. Some sufferers contend their symptoms continue to affect them after the standard treatment of two to four weeks, but not all doctors believe Lyme persists. What if some of these patients continue to struggle because they have another tick-borne infection? "You have to examine whether you have prescribed appropriate antibiotics for each infection that might have been in that tick," Dr. Cameron says. "The problem is that doctors are reluctant to treat any more than the bare minimum, and they lose the opportunity to treat people in a timely manner."
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