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Time for Lyme again - maybe!

Most people who Lhink they have Lyme disease do not, according to a report from the Rush Lyme Disease Center in Chicago. A study of 79 patients seeking treatment at the center found only five cases of the condition. Symptoms include joint inflammation, fever, and rash from the bite of an infected deer tick.

"Thirty-two people suspecting they had Lyme actually had fibromyalgia,' said Dr. Delfin Santos, a rheumatologist at the Center, who presented his findings last month at a meeting of the American College of Rheumatology. The remaining diagnoses ranged from tendonitis, osteoarthritis, juvenile rheumatoid arthritis, and various postviral illnesses.

Of the five confirmed cases, all reported having been to areas where ticks who carry the disease exist, particularly in rural Wisconsin and Canada.

Many patients reported going to other clinics with the same symptoms, thinking they had other medical problems, supporting the fact that as awareness of a disease increases, so does the number of persons who suspect that they have it. Few cases are diagnosed in areas where the deer tick is not known to exist.

People having symptoms that resemble Lyme disease should, however, seek medical diagnosis, because these symptoms are characteristic of a number of arthritis-causing diseases.
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Title Annotation:Lyme disease
Publication:Medical Update
Date:May 1, 1992
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