New Lyme Disease Estimate Sheds Light On Prevalence of Illness - 47 ABC - Delmarva's Choice

New Lyme Disease Estimate Sheds Light On Prevalence of Illness

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WMDT 47 NEWS - The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention announced Lyme disease is about ten times more common than previously reported.

While these numbers don't indicate a boom for the disease, the announcement does provide a more accurate picture of just how many people it affects.  One such victim is 21 year old Brittany Goff.

Nearly 80 different medications to treat what many doctors thought was a mystery illness.  
Brittany Goff believes she was bitten by a deer tick when she was about five-years-old.

After seeing the tell-tale bulls eye ring, doctors diagnosed her with Lyme disease, and she was treated with a short round of antibiotics, but the symptoms continued.

Goff rattles the list of diseases and disorders doctors thought she had, "I was diagnosed with fibromyalgia, lupus, they started to think I had MS at one point, chronic fatigue syndrome, just cluster headaches, ADHD, depression..." none of them correct.

New figures from the CDC say about 300,000 Americans are diagnosed with lyme disease each year, many more than the 30,000 cases currently reported.

"It's crucial that people are made aware," says Dr. Short "the test can be helpful, but you have to take the test, you have to look at the test results, and look at the patient."

After 16 years and almost $100,000 in medical bills, Brittany says she was finally re-diagnosed with Lyme disease, and properly treated.
    
"Lyme disease actually did permanent damage to my spine, so unfortunately that's going to be there for the rest of my life," says Goff.

But the Salisbury University senior keeps a bright outlook, saying "I'm so much better than I was before."

Despite the time, money, and numerous doctors involved in her case, Brittany says she has no intention of filing any lawsuits.

Healthcare professionals suggest anyone who thinks they may have lyme disease that has gone undiagnosed to contact their local lyme disease association for more information on getting help.

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