10 Essential Facts About Lyme Disease

7. Lyme disease is officially diagnosed with a blood test. If done in the early stages of infection, however, most tests will come out negative. Baker says it usually takes four to five weeks for antibodies that fight Lyme disease to appear in the bloodstream, which means that anyone tested sooner may not receive an accurate diagnosis.

8. Most cases of Lyme disease can be treated and cured with antibiotics. Marina Makous, MD, assistant professor of psychiatriy and family medicine at Columbia University’s Lyme and Tick-Borne Diseases Research Center, says antibiotics are effective for most cases of early Lyme disease if started in time, and the earlier the better. “It’s best if they’re started within the first two weeks,” Dr. Makous says. “But that can be difficult because tests won’t pick up on Lyme disease that early.” Antibiotics your doctor may prescribe include doxycycline and amoxicillin.

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