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QUESTION: How does one get lyme disease and how contagious is it? If someone got it how soon would they notice symptoms? I stood in prox to someone that ultimately found out they had it after their doctor insisting they had Lupus or something. Are the treatment options for it good?

ANSWER: Hi, James,

Lyme disease is spread by the bite of a deer tic and is not contagious, in terms of passing it from one person to another.  Generally symptoms are in a week or so.  The hallmark of this illness is a rash.  It can be easily treated in those where an early diagnosis is made.  Standing next to someone with it will not cause the disease in any way whatsoever.

Good luck, Dr. Olson

---------- FOLLOW-UP ----------

QUESTION: How treatable if diagnosed fairly late? Like I said this person's doctor insisted they had something else for a long period of time as that she needed to get tested for it elsewhere and the test came back positive. Assuming it has been with her for  months what can be done to ensure a full recovery? At one point she claimed blindness in one eye.

Hi, James,

Early treatment is always better, but in the case of you, no have no risk at all, unless you were bitten by a tic containing the organism.  I don't know anything about your friend.  I know that the later treatment can be more difficult but generally is successful.  Be sure your friend is seeing a doc who is skilled at the treatment and diagnosis of this.  If not, I would recommend an infectious disease doc.

Good luck, Dr.Olson


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David Olson, MD


I would be happy to attempt to answer any questions about general pediatric topics, either medical issues or behavioral issues. This would include all the various questions one receives in a busy pediatric practice. I`m a board certified pediatrician in northern Michigan and have been in practice for over 15 years. I enjoy the teaching role I have in our practice and would enjoy the opportunity to help others with their pediatric problems.

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