Bill Would Disclose Explanation For Lyme Disease Screening

By: Carly Stephenson Email
By: Carly Stephenson Email

HARRISONBURG, Va. -- Lyme Disease is one of the fastest growing diseases in the country.

Last year, there were almost 800 reported cases in Virginia.

That's higher when compared to southern states like North Carolina or Georgia.

A bill that's passed through both the House and the Senate in Virginia will require doctors to disclose certain information about Lyme Disease lab tests.

With this bill, doctors are required to give a written statement that talks about the accuracy of the Lyme Disease test.

Dr. Stephen Phillips said that there are two parts of a Lyme Disease test.

He say the less accurate test is actually the initial screening.

He says if there's a high likelihood the patient has the disease, but those results say otherwise.. it may be good to go ahead and treat the patient.

There's still a 24 or 25 % chance patients don't have Lyme Disease if they get a positive result.

The written information that doctors would use explains false results. The statement also says that you continue to have symptoms, you should ask about re-testing.

Dr. Phillips said he educates his patients, however doctors have different methods.

"Whether they do that or not is sort of a personal decision based on the physician and on the patient and this eliminates the variability in treatment of patients," said Dr. Phillips.

Dr. Phillips said that you have to worry if a tick has been on you for 24 hours or more and is engorged.

Otherwise, it's likely that if the tick had Lyme Disease, it would not have transferred to your body.

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