Updated on July 9 to include link to GLA’s Letter to the Editor that was submitted, and accepted, by The New York Times.
For all the individualized experiences Lyme patients face, one recent event has unified patients, physicians, researchers, and Lyme organizations alike … a recent article in The New York Times that vehemently denies the existence of post-treatment Lyme disease and chronic Lyme due to the claim that Lyme disease is always easy to cure.
Global Lyme Alliance (GLA) supports the Lyme community’s uproar regarding the recent New York Times opinion piece by Apoorva Mandavilli, “My Son Got Lyme Disease. He’s Totally Fine. Horror stories about lingering Lyme disease proliferate, but the illness is easily treated.” Mandavilli identifies herself as “an award-winning science journalist”, yet the piece does not take a scientific approach in addressing the disease. The author’s off-hand dismissal of Lyme in any stage other than acute is short-sided, scientifically incorrect, and extremely damaging. Aside from the blatant indifference of individual patient experiences with the disease, there is an apparent deliberate disregard for science-based evidence that proves the existence of Lyme in a persistent and chronic state—both for patients who have been treated and those who suffered years with no accurate diagnosis, and therefore no treatment.
If Lyme disease was as simple to cure as Mandavilli purports, then how does she explain a recent study that estimates the number of people suffering from post-treatment Lyme disease to possibly exceed two million by 2020.
Here are just a few research studies conducted at top universities and published in top peer-reviewed journals that Mandavilli should read prior to her next piece on Lyme disease:
GLA submitted a letter to the editor of The New York Times in response to Mandavilli’s article; we are still awaiting acknowledgement of the letter and the Times’ intent on publishing it.
Thanks to Forbes for their thoughtful rebuttal to the Times article.
If you or someone you know is suffering from Lyme or other tick-borne illness, let us know how GLA can help. Patient resources range from help finding a Lyme specialist to our new Lyme Link peer-to-peer mentor program.