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Why Lyme disease is so tricky to identify

Lyme disease is a serious illness that can cause problems with joints, the heart and the nervous system. According to the Centers for Diseases Control and Prevention, there are almost 300,000 people dealing with Lyme disease each year in America. Despite so many instances of the disease, it can be hard for one suffering from this illness to be diagnosed correctly. Georgia residents might like to know more about the difficulty of diagnosing Lyme disease.

Symptoms of Lyme disease include fever, fatigue, headaches and a rash on the skin. However, these symptoms could also point to many other ailments. Not all symptoms are present immediately, and symptoms could take years to present.

Spreading from tick bites, contact with a tick is a crucial clue when diagnosing Lyme disease. If a person did not notice a bite or does not remember the occurrence and notify physicians, this can prevent a correct diagnosis. To make matters worse, blood tests are not enough to provide answers.

In one case, a 10-year-old boy went a year without a correct diagnosis when experiencing stomach pain and a sore throat. Before receiving antibiotics and recovering, possible culprits for the boy's illness included cancer, mononucleosis and strep throat. Even a registered nurse could not correctly guess her own condition in another case where the disease was not discovered for 15 years. The nurse suffered from fever, joint pain, nerve damage and headaches.

When one suffers from an illness that is difficult to diagnosis, this might make it harder to identify whether medical malpractice occurred; a wrong diagnosis alone may not indicate malpractice. For example, many physicians might not correctly diagnose Lyme disease. However, a physician who has dealt with the illness before may be different. An attorney may help a patient gather more information in a case like this.

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