Why Is It So Hard to Get a Lyme Disease Diagnosis?

(Lavigne did not reveal exactly how she was diagnosed or whether she tested positive for Lyme antibodies, although she did say she had blood tests when she first became ill.)

Once Lyme disease is diagnosed, two to three weeks of oral antibiotics usually help patients feel better and eliminate all symptoms. If it goes untreated for several months, however, a longer course of drugs—usually four weeks—is often needed. In extreme cases, antibiotics may also be given through an IV.

Bass says that it’s uncommon for patients to be prescribed antibiotics for more than a month, even if they continue to experience fatigue and pain. “It does take longer for them to get better when there is a delay in diagnosis, but it doesn’t really change our duration or course of treatment,” she says. “They may just need to rest and take it easy a bit longer until they have their energy back.”

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