Lyme disease and post-treatment Lyme disease syndrome: the neglected disease in our own backyard

Published Date
Journal
Public Health
Citation
Public Health. 2014 Sep;128(9):784-91
DOI
10.1016/j.puhe.2014.06.016
Authors
Crowder LA
Yedlin VA
Weinstein ER
Kortte KB
Aucott JN
Abstract

OBJECTIVES:

A survey was developed to assess experience and opinions about Lyme disease and post-treatment Lyme disease syndrome(PTLDS) among faculties in public health. No previous surveys of public health faculties have been found in the literature.

STUDY DESIGN:

This is a cross sectional study of public health school faculty members designed to measure knowledge and experience with Lyme disease and PTLDS using an internet survey instrument.

METHODS:

Participants were recruited using all the publicly available e-mail addresses of faculty members in all the 50 accredited Schools of Public Health in the United States.

RESULTS:

A 15% response rate was seen for the survey. 50% of respondents were from Lyme endemic states. Less than 5% of faculty members consider themselves expert in Lyme or PTLDS. Many faculty members had known someone with Lyme disease or PTLDS, but few had been diagnosed themselves. Most believe that PTLDS can be severe and chronic, is not easy to treat, and does not resolve on its own, but were uncertain about its aetiology. Most respondents also felt that the incidence of Lyme disease will increase and that more education is needed.

CONCLUSIONS:

The need for further understanding and communication presents an opportunity for public health research and education in Lyme disease and the sequelae of PTLDS.