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Misdiagnosis of Lyme Disease

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Topic Overview

Misdiagnosis of Lyme disease is common.

The bacteria that cause the illness are hard to detect with current lab tests.

Recommended Related to Arthritis

Understanding Lyme Disease -- Diagnosis and Treatment

The bull's-eyerash of Lyme disease is distinctive. If you have been exposed to a tick and have the rash, this is enough to make the diagnosis. But if you have no such rash, Lyme disease is hard to diagnose. It mimics other diseases, such as the flu and arthritis, and there is often a long time lapse between symptoms. Your health care provider will check for flu-like symptoms and take a sample of blood to check for a high antibody response to Lyme disease. However, blood testing is not completely...

Read the Understanding Lyme Disease -- Diagnosis and Treatment article > >

  • People often test positive for Lyme disease when in fact they have a different bacterial illness.
  • People may test positive because they were infected with the Lyme disease bacteria at some point during their lives, but the infection may not be active and may not cause any illness.
  • People may test negative when they actually have been infected.

Symptoms of Lyme disease sometimes closely resemble those of other illnesses.


WebMD Medical Reference from Healthwise

Last Updated: June 04, 2014
This information is not intended to replace the advice of a doctor. Healthwise disclaims any liability for the decisions you make based on this information.
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