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1993: Steere does a 180, publishing THE OVERDIAGNOSIS OF LYME DISEASE.


Suddenly, that kind of Lyme Allen Steere talked about before (chronic, neurologic, and seronegative), where once he warned were "perilously close to CFIDS and Fibro," now actually were CFIDs and Fibro and therefore a psychiatric illness. In this report, Allen Steere states:

"We thought that 452 (57%) of the 788 patients had another illness rather than Lymedisease. They had had symptoms for a mean duration of 3 years (range, 1 month to 22 years) at the time of our evaluation. More than half of these patients had chronic illnesses with prominent subjective symptoms, such as chronic fatigue syndrome or fibromyalgia. 

"The sex ratio among these patients was 2 to 1 in favor of women, but the age distribution was similar to that in patients with past or current Lyme disease. Although psychiatric disorders such as anxiety, depression, or somatization clearly played a role in the illness of some of these patients, we did not attempt to make psychiatric diagnoses. 


"Most of the 452 patients had had multiple serological tests for Lyme disease done in multiple laboratories. Of the 452 patients, 203 (45%) had previously had at least one positive result in another laboratory, often in a borderline-positive range. In our laboratory, none of these patients was seropositive."

Allen Steere has done a complete 180. Where he once acknowledged the multi-system, protean, chronic disease that is similar to lymphoma, he is now calling it a hysterical hypochondriacal women's disease. 



“The most important point of this report is that misdiagnosis, either by the physician or the patient, was by far the most common reason for the apparent lack of response to antibiotic treatment. Before retreating a patient with persistent or recurrent symptoms who is thought to have Lyme disease, the physician should first reconsider whether the diagnosis is correct.”

-Allen Steere setting the stage for the transformation of Lyme disease into a simple tick-transmitted arthritic knee, whereas all the devastating neurologic symptoms that he reported previously are now something else, and likely psychosomatic. 

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