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The deer tick, Ixodes scapularis, carries and spreads Lyme disease. Photo: Scott Bauer, USDA
The deer tick, Ixodes scapularis, carries and spreads Lyme disease. Photo: Scott Bauer, USDA

Vermont House advances bill on Lyme disease treatment

MONTPELIER, Vt. (AP) The Vermont House is expected to give final passage to a bill that would give doctors more flexibility in treating Lyme disease.

The bill up for final action Wednesday would allow doctors to prescribe long-term antibiotics to patients diagnosed with the tick-borne illness.

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Rep. Mike Fisher, chairman of the House Health Care Committee, says that practice currently is not universally accepted. He says there have been fears that doctors prescribing long-term antibiotics could be brought before the state Medical Practice Board on professional conduct charges.

No such cases have happened yet in Vermont, but the bill would guarantee that would remain the case. The measure got unanimous preliminary approval in the House on Tuesday.

Copyright 2014 The Associated Press. All rights reserved

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