“In the ‘70s, a cluster of adults and children in Lyme, Old Lyme, and East Haddam, Connecticut, began to develop fevers, swollen joints, and, most mysterious, an angry rash, especially after playing or hiking near rivers. The cases were most prevalent in deer-heavy areas, and scientists quickly discovered a common link: black-legged ticks that jump from deer to humans. Lyme disease was first identified by a medical entomologist in 1982.

Lyme disease is a notoriously slippery condition to diagnose, especially outside the Midwest or Northeast, where it’s most common. Symptoms can mimic the flu and may not appear until about three weeks after infection, when it’s harder to detect (and, like syphilis in the 19thcentury, Lyme disease is known as “the great imitator” because its symptoms could be attributed to a number of illnesses). Fewer than 50 percent of Lyme disease patients can even recall a tick bite or a rash, so thorough questioning is vital when a doctor is making a diagnosis. Left untreated, the disease can travel to your heart, joints, and nervous system.”


Dr. Neil Spector is an associate professor of Medicine at Duke University.This 58-year-old shares his long-undiagnosed experience with Lyme Diesease that eventually led to complications and even heart failure. To read more of this article continue here: