Elizabeth L. Maloney, MD, President of the Partnership for Tick-Borne Diseases Education and Family Medicine Physician in Wyoming, MN published a paper titled “Reducing the Burden of Lyme Disease” in Minnesota Family Physician. It includes discussion of tick bite management, early treatment, and shared decision-making.
In the article, Dr. Maloney highlights the expensive cost of Lyme disease, stating that, “Nationwide, the annual direct medical costs could reach 1.3 billion dollars” and calls attention to the disadvantages in research the illness has suffered, as well as clinical trial evidence that is “generally scant and/or of low quality”.
The author advises that, “Blacklegged tick bites acquired in Minnesota carry a significant risk of Lyme disease,” and offers guidance for making decisions regarding antibiotic prophylaxis of asymptomatic bites.
Maloney stresses the importance of early treatment and writes, “Early Lyme disease, when promptly diagnosed and appropriately treated with antibiotics, is curable.” Above all, she states, “the risks and benefits of all options should be discussed with patients in the setting of shared decision-making in order to arrive at a therapeutic plan that fits both the clinical circumstances and the patient’s goals and values.”
This article posted with permission from Minnesota Family Physician.