The state House of Representatives passed a pretty big deal bill today intended to protect physicians who buy into the controversial notion of chronic, tick-borne Lyme disease from being investigated for treating it with long-term antibiotics.
Having been born and raised in Connecticut I’m familiar with Lyme disease, but I had no idea what a politically charged issue it is until I began writing stories about this legislation a few months ago.
Even though there are tons of folks out there, including some lawmakers, who believe they or their family members suffer from chronic recurring Lyme symptoms, the well-respected national Infectious Diseases Society says it’s a bunch of hogwash. And that apparently scares those docs who may secretly accept chronic Lyme as a fact but don’t want to acknowledge it publicly and get tattled on to higher medical authorities.
Speaking of hogs, it was tough getting any medical types to respond to the House’s unanimous passage of the Lyme legislation because of all the media hype over the swine flu.
I put in a call to the Infectious Diseases Society for a comment and got a polite e-mail back referring me to previous statements the group has issued.
“As you can imagine, we’re a bit swamped here with the swine flu pandemic,” the society’s spokesman apologized.
William Gerrish, spokesman for the state Department of Public Health, said he too was tied up with swine flu questions but would try to get me something on the Lyme bill.