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Delayed treatment can worsen Lyme disease for Illinois residents

Lyme disease is well-known for the damage it can cause. But for people in Illinois, it is not just the disease itself that is an issue. A failure to diagnose Lyme disease can result in delayed treatment and a worsened condition. Patients who have the disease but are unable to have it detected and treated effectively are possibly at risk for prolonged suffering.

A U.S. college professor who was in Europe for a conference contracted Lyme disease from a tick bite. The telltale sign of the disease is a rash in the shape of a bull's-eye. Two days after he was bitten, the man discovered this warning signal. He experienced headaches, fevers and a cough. Doctors did not believe he had a serious illness, and he suffered unnecessarily until he was correctly diagnosed 10 months later.

With any medical issue, misdiagnosis can potentially affect the quality of care. It is important that doctors are aware of the symptoms of various illnesses and their variances on a worldwide basis. It is also important that they are aware of the testing processes to detect them.

Although the man was given various tests, the doctors failed to give him the c6 based ELISA test. This specific test scans for infections from 18 different species of ticks but is not widely used in the United States. When misdiagnosis is apparent, a negligent physician can make matters worse. One physician gave the man silver intravenously. The man subsequently suffered from kidney and liver failure. It was not until he saw a doctor who accurately diagnosed him that he received the proper antibiotic treatment and was able to recover.

A medical malpractice attorney can advise a person who believes the spread of a disease has occurred because of delayed treatment. If a person believes they have suffered needlessly as a result of a medical misdiagnosis, they may wish to consult an attorney.

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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