Although Lyme disease has only become part of regular discussion in recent years, it is a surprisingly common and a devastating disease. It occurs four times more often than HIV infections, and the amount of people that have been misdiagnosed is concerning to medical professionals.
What is Lyme disease?
Lyme disease is a tick-bourne illness that affects the immune system. It can occur when an infected Deer tick, or the black-legged tick as it is sometimes referred to, bites a person. Being bitten by a tick is quite common, especially in summer months and when walking in long wet grass or marshlands. While being bitten by a tick is usually nothing to worry about, it is an issue if the tick is a carrier of the bacteria which causes lyme disease.
What are the initial symptoms of lyme disease?
If you are bitten by an infected tick, you might suffer from the feeling of having a flu in the days after. You might also notice a rash around the area of the bite that resembles a "bull's-eye", with a red ring around it.
Why is misdiagnosis so common?
Lyme disease and its crippling symptoms are very difficult to diagnose because they can occur years after the initial bite. The symptoms can resemble autoimmune diseases, chronic fatigue syndrome or even early Alzheimer's.
The misdiagnosis of Lyme disease can be a huge problem because it may never get treated properly, allowing the disease to spread. If you are a Lyme disease sufferer that was the victim of misdiagnosis, you may feel that years were lost in trying to find a cure for your suffering.
Source: Body Ecology, "Lyme Disease Is Spreading Nationwide: Misdiagnosis Is More Common Than You Think," accessed Nov. 10, 2017