Dr James Schaller
tick infection pearls chat free books testimonials main page books and articles schaller health creed free consult testimonies search
menu main page what's new second opinion new patient meet doctor schaller location, travel


Lyme Expert Defends North Carolina Infection Expert, Blasts AP for Many Errors and Takes On Drs. Shapiro and Mead

To the Associated Press,

The story entitled "Doctor Disciplined over Lyme Disease Treatment" (4/14/06) has numerous inaccuracies. First, the title makes it sound like Dr. Jemsek has already been convicted of some crime. Nothing could be further from the truth, as the story finally acknowledges in the fourth paragraph. By then the casual reader has been totally misled.

The story quotes Dr. Paul Mead of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), who makes comments about the treatment of chronic Lyme disease. Dr. Mead is a research epidemiologist at the CDC. He is not involved in direct patient care, and he has no expertise in the clinical management of patients with chronic Lyme disease. His comments are irrelevant to the thousands of patients suffering from chronic Lyme disease, and his uninformed clinical views are irrelevant to Dr. Jemsek's case.

The story also quotes Dr. Eugene Shapiro, a pediatric researcher from Yale University who helped formulate the now-obsolete Lyme guidelines of the Infectious Diseases Society of America. Dr, Shapiro makes another one of his nihilistic comments for which he is notorious:

"It's not that the people diagnosed with chronic Lyme disease don't have problems," he said. "It's that chronic Lyme disease is not the problem."

Over the past decade, it has become obvious that a major problem for people with chronic Lyme disease is Dr. Shapiro himself, who has used his stature as a university professor to spread misinformation about Lyme disease around the country. Sadly there are gullible reporters who blindly print his dismissive statements while ignoring the immense problems with chronic Lyme disease, which confers disability similar to congestive heart failure. Dr. Jemsek is trying to solve those problems. Dr. Shapiro is making them worse.

A story like this one should have included comments from more enlightened physician groups such as the International Lyme and Associated Diseases Society (ILADS, www.ilads.org) and from patient advocacy groups such as the national Lyme Disease Association (LDA, www.lymediseaseassociation.org). Let's hope that the Associated Press does a better job next time.


Raphael Stricker, MD
President, ILADS
PO Box 341461
Bethesda, MD 20827

At times I will hear untrained physicians and relatives of my pateints devalue IGeneX labs. They have made it clear that folks who feel ill, have a real reason for their suffering, and it is not just a psychiatric medication deficiency.

Some act like IGeneX is a bar and grill with a tick disease lab in the back. Yet if fact, it is the best tick-borne disease lab in the world. If I send certain positives or likely negative they come back fitting the symptoms or the high exposure perfectly. If someone has almost no exposure, they are virtually always negative. A few times I expected a negative and got a positive, and the patient recalled some trip to New England or the Carolinas.

Here is the CLIA Medicare and Medicaid license of IgeneX.

Click Here for a print-quality PDF file of the image above.

So the next time someone thinks IgeneX has no stature, give him or her a copy of this license. You do not get it for incompetence. Which is what I routinely see in huge national junk labs in which folks with a history of clear tick bites and perhaps a Lyme rash come back with negative results at week 4,6, 8 and 12 before treatment.

Bank Towers, Tamiami Trail, Naples, FL
disclaimer privacy