The bacteria that cause the illness are hard
to detect with current lab tests. People often test positive for Lyme disease
when in fact they have a different
bacterial illness. Or they may test positive because
they were infected with the bacteria at some point during their lives, but the
infection may not be active and may not cause any illness. Also, they may test
negative when they actually have been infected.
Symptoms of Lyme
disease sometimes closely resemble those of other illnesses. Chronic Lyme
disease, for instance, has symptoms very similar to those of several other
chronic illnesses, particularly
juvenile idiopathic arthritis,
chronic fatigue syndrome. Treatment with
antibiotics that are normally used to treat Lyme
disease is not helpful for people with these other conditions.