WASHINGTON (AP) -- The recent revelation that President Bush was treated for Lyme disease put him among a growing number of Americans who have gotten the disease.
Health officials say cases of the tick-borne infection have more than doubled over the past 15 years. And experts say many cases go unreported, so the actual number of cases could be far higher.
Bush had his treated early on, and the good news is that most patients take antibiotics for a few weeks and are cured. People who aren't treated early enough, however, can develop painful arthritis, meningitis and other serious ailments. Part of the problem in getting quick treatment is that no test can tell when someone has active Lyme disease. Current tests instead spot infection-fighting antibodies, which can take weeks to form and then linger long after Lyme is gone.