As the summer months approach in New Jersey, people should take precautions when they head outdoors to prevent tick-borne illnesses. Deer ticks, which are common throughout the North, can carry and spread the bacteria that causes Lyme disease. When this illness is caught early and diagnosed correctly, taking antibiotics for a few weeks can normally prevent severe harm. Unfortunately, however, Lyme disease is frequently misdiagnosed by doctors.
Misdiagnosis of Lyme disease
When a person is bitten by an infected deer tick, the bite might show a ring-like rash spreading outward from the bite. This symptom appears in approximately 70% to 80% of people. However, some people do not realize they have a rash, and others do not develop them. People who have Lyme disease may develop other symptoms, including fevers, fatigue, body aches, and headaches. Since these symptoms are also common with other illnesses, doctors may misdiagnose Lyme disease as something else. If Lyme disease is caught quickly, antibiotics can normally take care of the bacteria within a couple of weeks.
If a doctor misdiagnosed someone with having a different illness, Lyme disease can progress and cause more serious problems. People might suffer neurological problems, cognitive problems, arthritis, and potentially fatal heart problems from undiagnosed Lyme disease. When the disease reaches this stage, it is much more difficult to treat. If people start to feel ill after being outdoors, they should tell their doctors that they want to be tested for Lyme disease.
People who suffer from Lyme disease that was misdiagnosed by a doctor may want to talk to an experienced medical malpractice attorney. A lawyer might help a client hold the doctor accountable and recover compensation for the losses that they have suffered as a result.