In a survey of 252 physicians practicing in Maryland, 170 responders diagnosed 142 cases of
Lyme disease (LB) during 1990 and 1991. About 80% of the cases were diagnosed by primary care physicians. The most common clinical finding, erythema migrans (EM), was reported in half the cases and arthritis was reported in a quarter. Only 22.2% had a history of a tick bite; serological tests were ordered in a third of the cases. EM was treated with oral antibiotics for 10-21 days. Most physicians treated
Lyme arthritis with the same therapy, although some used intravenous ceftriaxone. The most commonly used treatment for neurologic or cardiac complications was intravenous ceftriaxone. These preliminary data suggest that LB may be diagnosed by Maryland physicians more frequently than syphilis and tuberculosis. The data also indicate LB is a much larger problem in Maryland than suggested by official reports to the Centers for
Disease Control. The clinical characteristics of the illness and the antibiotics prescribed for it in Maryland are similar to those reported in northeastern states.