The Politics of Lyme Disease

May 22, 2018

I’d bet there’s not a single listener who has not been affected by Lyme or one of the other diseases carried by ticks. Whether you’ve had the rash, fever, and joint pain yourself or know someone whose life has been destroyed by memory loss, depression, and fatigue, you know the seriousness of this disease. What you may not know is that many patients are not only misdiagnosed but sometimes refused treatment; that there is no reliable test to prove you actually have it; that doctors can be punished for giving you antibiotics that might treat it; and that the medical profession itself is at war over the disease.

On Cape Cod we know that ticks are everywhere, but they’re also spreading all over the world, surviving in areas never thought possible and flourishing as a direct result of climate change and our human-altered landscape. The result is an explosion of bacteria that can evade the body’s immune system, survive medications, evade tests, and completely devastate the human body.

Joining me is Mary Beth Pfeiffer an investigative reporter who spent six years and did three hundred interviews to write a frightening new book called Lyme: The Fist Epidemic of Climate Change.