Lyme disease: Doctors told not to wait for blood tests where patients have ‘bull’s eye’ rash

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Docs have been instructed to diagnose Lyme disease with out ready for blood take a look at outcomes if sufferers have the attribute “bull’s eye” rash. 

Blood checks for the tick-borne infections might miss the situation within the early weeks, in line with new draft steering printed by the National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (Good).

This might cut back the probabilities of a full restoration, the NHS remedy watchdog stated. Because of this, it stated sufferers must be supplied antibiotics the place they present the attribute ringed rash, referred to as erythema migrans.


The bull’s eye rash seems in round two thirds of circumstances normally inside a month of a chunk from an contaminated tick.

“For most individuals with Lyme illness, a course of antibiotics will probably be efficient, so it will be important we diagnose and deal with individuals as quickly as potential,” Professor Gillian Leng, director of well being and social care at Good, stated. “An individual with Lyme illness might current with a variety of signs, so we have now clear recommendation for professionals about using lab checks for prognosis and probably the most acceptable antibiotic remedies.

“If a attribute bull’s eye rash is current, healthcare professionals ought to really feel assured in diagnosing Lyme illness.”

Exams can test for antibodies within the blood, nonetheless these might not seem till as much as eight weeks after the affected person is bitten.

It’s hoped the brand new draft steering will enhance the variety of early diagnoses and permit sufferers to obtain remedy instantly, decreasing the chance of additional signs creating.

When there isn’t any rash current and signs are unclear, medical doctors will probably be suggested to hold out blood checks.

Professor Saul Faust, chairman of the rule committee, stated: “Lab checks are essential when an individual’s signs are unclear, however they don’t seem to be wanted if an individual presents the attribute pink rash, erythema migrans. Docs ought to really feel assured to prescribe antibiotics instantly for these with erythema migrans.”

Veronica Hughes, chief government of Caudwell LymeCo, a UK charity for sufferers with Lyme illness, stated: “Ready for blood take a look at outcomes at all times delays remedy. When a affected person has the rash, this delay is pointless and reduces the probability of complete treatment.”

Further reporting by Press Affiliation

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