Approximately 10 to 20% of patients treated for Lyme disease have lingering symptoms of fatigue, pain, or joint and muscle aches. In some cases, these can last for more than 6 months. Although often called "chronic Lyme disease," this condition is properly known as "Post-treatment Lyme Disease Syndrome" (PTLDS).
The exact cause of PTLDS is not yet known and its treatment remains controversial. Most medical experts believe that the lingering symptoms are the result of residual damage to tissues and the immune system that occurred during the infection. Others tell their patients that the symptoms are caused by persisting infection with B. bergdorferi, the bacteria that causes Lyme disease. Sometimes lingering symptoms can be the cause of another health condition and not Lyme disease.
Regardless of the cause or the treatment regimen, the chronic symptoms patients experience can be debilitating. For children, symptoms can interfere with learning. If your child has been diagnosed with PTLDS, contact your school nurse to determine a course of action to support your child in school.
For more information on PTLDS, see the following websites: