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The New York Times Opinion: Letters to the Editor July 9, 2019

Officers of the Global Lyme Alliance and a woman incapacitated by Lyme criticize an article depicting the disease as easy to treat.


To the Editor:

Re “ My Son Got Lyme Disease. He’s Totally Fine” (Well, nytimes.com, June 27):

Apoorva Mandavilli celebrates her son’s recovery from Lyme disease. But while the vast majority of those diagnosed with Lyme and other tick-borne diseases are cured with antibiotics, up to 20 percent of more than 427,000 newly diagnosed Americans go on each year to suffer devastating long-term chronic effects — even if they are treated early, like her son.

These patients can become afflicted with neurocognitive disorders, disabling fatigue, extreme joint pain, heart problems and so on. Sadly, with their lives severely disrupted if not destroyed, too many commit suicide. A recent study published by the journal BMC Public Health predicts the number of people suffering post-treatment Lyme could increase to almost two million by 2020.

Rather than minimizing the risks of Lyme disease by stating it is easy to diagnose and easy to cure — which is not the case — and lulling the public into a false sense of security, let’s pull together to address the great public health risk that irrefutably exists.

Robert Kobre Scott Santarella Stamford, Conn.

The writers are, respectively, chairman and chief executive of the Global Lyme Alliance

Click here to see entire New York Times Letter to the Editor, including letter from Lyme patient Sarah Young.
Click here to see expanded response by GLA to the article by Apoorva Mandavilli.