I got lyme disease a few years ago and only found out because the left side of my face stopped working. I never got the bullseye thing and just dismissed other symptoms that I had until the left side of my face was paralyzed, so I finally went to the doctor. I guess it's hard to catch it if one doesn't have the noticeable external symptoms like the bullseye on the skin. Where I live, it's somewhat common to get a tick on oneself and sometimes it's hard to even know unless you see it on you. It's probably because deer (common carrier of ticks) live in close proximity with humans, due to humans invading their habitat, leaving them nowhere to live really.
for those who are interested, the following is what i got from the contact:to anyone who has Lyme disease or lives in areas where it is endemic I would strongly encourage reading 'Healing Lyme' by the herbalist Stephen Harrod Buhner. The treatment I have used is taken from this book and it has worked fantastically well for me - though it won't be for another 12 months until I know whether the treatment has actually cured me. A couple of months after starting the treatment all symptoms disappeared and have not returned. And I had pretty severe symptoms. Because I was travelling at the time I got Lyme rather than buying the herbs in bulk and encapsulating them myself (which would have been the cheapest option) I got Buhner's basic formula in capsule form from a place in Vermont called Green Dragon Botanicals - run by Timothy Scott, another very interesting herbalist and author. I highly recommend his products.The time difference between what is considered acute and chronic Lyme disease is only a few weeks so I think that even your friends that have had the disease for some time can really benefit from the herbal protocol that Buhner has developed. The main difference, in terms of treatment approaches, between the acute and chronic phases is that antibiotics only have a good success rate during the acute phase - that is when they are taken within a couple of weeks of the infection occurring. Like about 90% of people who get LD I had no idea I had been infected until severe symptoms manifested but I guessed that it had probably happened three or four weeks earlier. So, basically by the time I realised what was going on I had already passed into the chronic phase. So I didn't bother with antibiotics at all. And like I said I have had excellent results so far from the herbal treatment. That said I would still probably suggest to anyone that has just been infected to take antibiotics AND the herbs (and that is hard for me to say because of my general antipathy towards the use of antibiotics).