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Biological Chemistry

Lyme Disease Experience

July 22, 2013 | A version of this story appeared in Volume 91, Issue 29

Here in southeast Pennsylvania we have a lot of woods, deer, ticks, people—and Lyme disease (C&EN, June 24, page 10).

About 15 years ago, a few days after a long walk in the woods, I developed a fever of about 100 °F. It was lower in the morning and rose toward evening. I also felt somewhat fatigued. I did not find a tick on my body nor did I have a bull’s-eye rash.

That summer many folks in our neighborhood had Lyme disease. I went to a doctor familiar with Lyme disease. He said that the only universal symptoms were a low-grade fever and some fatigue. A bull’s-eye rash may or may not appear, so don’t wait for one before seeing a doctor. Also, early in the disease a test for antibodies is useless. The doctor gave me a prescription for doxycycline. An hour after taking the first pill my fever broke and I felt fine. I continued to take the medicine for four weeks and had no further problems.

Last fall, two days after going into the woods, I found a deer tick on my body. I had no symptoms of Lyme disease. I took doxycycline for three weeks and have had no symptoms as of this writing.

Frederic F. Nelson
Landenberg, Pa.


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