The guideline has advice for GPs and specialists on symptoms to look out for, tests to help confirm a diagnosis and what treatments to use. It also calls for more UK research into Lyme disease and the best long-term treatment options.
Saul Faust, Professor of paediatric immunology and infectious diseases at the University of Southampton and chair of the NICE guideline committee, said: “We want people to be diagnosed early so they get the right treatment as soon as possible.
“This new guideline gives more clarity on how clinicians can spot Lyme disease and provide early treatment. It guides through when to use tests and what antibiotics to prescribe according to symptoms.”
The guideline says doctors should use their clinical judgement to check people’s symptoms. Lyme disease can cause a circular red rash – medically referred to as erythema migrans – in the days or weeks after a tick bite. If this occurs, doctors can diagnose Lyme disease immediately and give the person antibiotics.