I think you'd be hard pressed to find some one on the planet who hasn't heard of Lyme disease. In some communities you might have a hard time finding some one who hasn't been bitten by a tick. The dangers of Lyme, and ticks is known. I was recently bitten by a Deer tick, and aware of the damage done by Lyme, I embarked on a quest to be treated. Unfortunately, getting treated properly wasn't easy. Fortunately I have somewhat educated myself to what is really going on in the battle against Lyme. I'm no expert, but I have learned enough to know that all isn't what it seems, and that anyone who lives in an area affected by Lyme, or spending time in the outdoors needs to educate themselves.
Have you ever heard on the Infectious Disease Society of America? Didn't think so. Don't worry, neither had I. The IDSA is a group that studies infectious diseases, and recommends policy, and protocol. Here is their mission Statement, or at least a statement from their "about" page that sure sounds like a mission statement. http://www.idsociety.org/About_IDSA/ sounds good, doesn't it?
As it turns out the IDSA failed to live up to the statement and was found to have a significant amount of conflict of interest among their members assembled to study Lyme.
http://www.ct.gov/ag/cwp/view.asp?a=2795&q=414284 This has led to a policy, and protocols that don't really address the issue, and doctors conflicted on how to treat patients. Fortunately there are doctors out there who are conducting their own research, and writing recommended protocols. Hopefully these studies, and recommendations will have an effect on their peers before more people suffer needlessly. http://www.lymenet.org/BurrGuide200810.pdf
For a little comparison take a look at this link. http://www.lymepa.org/War_On_Lyme_Patients11-08WEB_B_W.pdf
I will state again, I am no expert on Lyme disease. I do have a few recommendations on what you should do in the event you get bitten by a Deer tick.
*First off, go to see a doctor. Many don't know jack about Lyme, but it's still better than blowing it off. It doesn't hurt to get it documented in your medical records that you were bitten by a tick, either.
*Insist on getting a 28 day supply of an antibiotic. It's been shown that rapidly treating Lyme is the best course of action, and that Lyme is harder to cure the longer it goes undetected.
*Save the tick, and send it to a lab to be tested. You want to do this yourself for a couple of reasons. Many hospitals don't test the tick for Lyme, rather they just confirm the tick is in fact a Deer tick. Also, they may not test for any co-infections. Ticks carry more than just Lyme. In the event the tick comes back negative for Lyme, you only need to worry about any co-infection, which may have been handled by the antibiotic you should have already started.
*If your doctor refuses to treat your bite seriously go to another.
A tick bite is natures way of sticking you with a dirty needle. Take it seriously, and get it treated.