Lyme disease, the most common tick-borne illness in both North America and Europe, is notorious for its difficulty to diagnose. Aside from the telltale bulls-eye rash, the symptoms can be hard to pinpoint to Lyme specifically. And according to a new report from The New England Center for Investigative Reporting's Beth Daley, a loophole in Food and Drug Administration regulation means that labs can offer Lyme disease tests that aren't federally recommended -- which means it's up to patients to navigate whether they want to seek care from doctors who only use the recommended tests or doctors who use unregulated "alternative" tests. The big problem: Some of these tests may not be accurate in diagnosing Lyme.
So what's a patient to do? What are the options for testing for Lyme disease, and what does it mean for a test to be unregulated? Tune in right here at 12 p.m. ET on Wednesday, June 18, for a one-hour live chat featuring Daley, Dr. Paul Mead, M.D., M.P.H, chief of epidemiology and surveillance for CDC’s Lyme disease program, and Dr. Arefa Cassoobhoy, M.D., a medical editor at WebMD, to discuss Lyme disease testing and its intricacies. And be sure to check out this explainer piece on Lyme from the NECIR; you can also send them your photos of ticks to have them identified by the University of Rhode Island's Tom Mather -- a.k.a. "The Tick Guy."