The Lyme disease is caused by bacteria of the Borrelia genus (Stricker, 2007). It is upon transmission, by hard-ticks to man that the bacteria cause pathophysiological changes in the body, causing illness. The symptoms of the disease are mild in the early stages and severe in the chronic form of the disease.
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The controversies and my opinion
The film ‘Under Our Skin’ was directed by Andy Abrahams Wilson in 2008. It brings out the mystery behind the Lyme disease and the flaws in the healthcare industry. Some physicians are caught practising unorthodox procedures to treat chronic Lyme disease. The film also captures systems failure in Infectious Diseases Society of America (IDSA), which was found to have guidelines on the Lyme disease that were not valid. The film brings to the fore the interplay of science, politics and microbiology.
There has been a general agreement on the effectiveness of therapy used to treat early Lyme disease (Wormser et al., 2000). However, there have been disagreements on the usefulness of antibiotics used to treat chronic Lyme disease. The long-term use of antibiotics has been linked to adverse effects, but disputed by others (Stricker, 2007). The opponents argue that long-term use of antibiotics has no therapeutic value to patients suffering from the Lyme disease. Interestingly, the proponents of the long-term use of antibiotics have no scientific evidence to support the benefits of the therapy. These disagreements are impeding the process of developing a remedy for the chronic Lyme disease which has debilitating symptoms.
Insurance companies stopped healthcare insurance for the Lyme disease on recommendations from some physicians. The physicians believed that treatment for the Lyme disease with antibiotics was only effective for the first month. Misdiagnosis of the disease has been attributed to huge financial costs (Sigal, 1996).
Sigal, L. H. (1996). The Lyme disease controversy: social and financial costs of misdiagnosis and mismanagement. Archives of Internal Medicine, 156(14), 1493.
Stricker, R. B. (2007). Counterpoint: long-term antibiotic therapy improves persistent symptoms associated with Lyme disease. Clinical Infectious Diseases, 45(2), 149-157.
Wormser, G. P., Nadelman, R. B., Dattwyler, R. J., Dennis, D. T., Shapiro, E. D., Steere, A. C.,… & Luft, B. J. (2000). Practice guidelines for the treatment of Lyme disease. Clinical Infectious Diseases, 31(Supplement 1), 1-14.