AUGUSTA, Maine (NEWS CENTER) -- Dozens of people living with Lyme disease rallied in front of the State House Friday, calling for change as to way the disease is diagnosed and treated.
Lyme disease is caused by bacteria transmitted by a certain species of ticks. It affects about 300,000 people each year across the country. Last year there were more than 1,300 new cases here in Maine.
The disease has been called the 'great imitator' because it mimics other disorders including chronic fatigue syndrome and seizures. A high percentage of people who get Lyme disease get a 'bullseye rash' within the first days of being infected, but for many patients it goes undetected for years.
"I got sick at the age of 9 and a lot of us are like that because the testing criteria is very inaccurate because doctors don't want to know that they also don't seem to know how to diagnose based on clinical symptoms," said Holly Loudner.
If you would like more information about Lyme disease you can go to www.lymedisease.org