LETTER TO THE EDITOR OF THE NY Times Magazine, 6-01, By Jane
``I just had to write a response to your article: "Stalking Dr. Steere Over Lyme Disease", by David Grann. Let me begin by stating that I have Lyme Disease, and have spent over two years researching this very political and puzzling infectious disease.
Here are a few points for you to consider:
1. Dr. Steere is a rheumatologist not an infectious disease specialist.
2. Insurance companies pay Dr. Steere handsomely for his expert testimonies refuting antibiotic treatment beyond 4 - 6 weeks for Lyme patients.
3. While Dr. Steere identified Lyme Disease here in the US, the actual bacteria (Bb, spirochete) that causes Lyme Disease has been found world wide since the 1800s.
4. There is insufficient research data to prove that late stage Lyme Disease can be "cured" with a short term course of antibiotics, as suggested by Dr. Steere.
I am a Speech and Language Pathologist in the Greenwich, CT Public Schools. I was unable to work last year due mostly to Lyme Disease. Long term antibiotic treatment allowed me to return to work this past fall. I have had MRIs, SPECTs, Blood cultures, Blood tests, CAT Scans, Gallium Scans, and more ...
Had a short course of antibiotics been effective, I'd be well now. Oh how I wish that Dr. Steere was correct! I would like to return to being a healthy active woman.
Lyme patients are often the victims of misinformed physicians. We are also the victims of politics. I personally attended a rally to protest the honoring of Dr. Steere in NYC.
I stood on Fifth Ave. wearing black, leaning on my cane, as I distributed copies of the NY Times article on the politics of Lyme Disease. The group did hold up signs and chanted things like "Steer clear of Steere". This was a group of ill people along with their friends and family, that were out there to educate others about the controversies surrounding Lyme Disease.
Dr. Steere is not being "stalked". The Lyme "Community" is speaking out against those that continue to spread misinformation about a serious and debilitating disease.
The crime here is that untold numbers of Lyme Disease sufferers are being denied adequate medical treatment due to this "so called" expert named Steere. How is it that a specialist in rheumatology is an expert in an infectious disease? Identifying a disease doesn't make one an expert in effective treatment.''