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Lyme disease tests in the U.S. are limited

A recent article, which details the case of a man who may have contracted Lyme disease in Spain and was allegedly misdiagnosed when he returned to the United States, may be of interest to readers in Colorado. The issue appears to be that the Lyme disease test used in the U.S. only looks for a common variety of tick known as Borrelia burgorferi, so doctors said it must be some other illness.

The man's issues began when he was showering and noticed a tick on his ankle. Two days later he saw the bull's eye rash that often signals an initial Lyme disease infection. He also developed a headache, fever and a cough. He sought treatment when he returned to the United States, but he claims that it took him 10 months to find a doctor who would give him the necessary antibiotics because his test for Lyme disease kept coming up negative. In the meantime, the man claims he could barely get out of bed, and his headaches caused him great anxiety.

Some suggest that some practitioners need to implement a more sophisticated test that looks for 18 different kinds of ticks. That test is available in Europe, but is not widely used in the U.S.

When an illness or injury is not treated properly, the patient can suffer months or years of pain and disability. The man in this case may have cause to file a medical malpractice suit against the medical professionals and institutions who failed to properly treat him.

A medical misdiagnosis may have consequences that are far reaching for an individual. For example, the illness or injury may cause the person to miss work, school or limit his or her ability to take care of a home and family. Since the damage might severely affect a person's quality of life and earning ability, it may be wise to seek a settlement that covers lost wages, job training and some compensation, after they allegedly suffered injury due to the negligence of a doctor or hospital.

Source: Medical Daily, "Man's 10-Month Lyme Disease Stint Exposes Holes, Confusion With Treating It In The US", Anthony Rivas, July 08, 2014

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