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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.

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Chronic Lyme Disease -- Complications

With treatment and time, the symptoms of Lyme disease, which is caused by a tick bite, usually get better. If you are diagnosed with Lyme disease, you’re usually given antibiotics for 2-4 weeks. When symptoms linger well beyond the typical treatment time, you may have what's called "post-treatment Lyme disease syndrome" (PTLDS). It’s also called "chronic Lyme disease." About 1 in 10 people who get Lyme disease have lingering symptoms.  A wide range of effects from PTLDS can go on for months. Some...

Read the Chronic Lyme Disease -- Complications 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.

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WebMD Medical Reference from Healthwise

Last Updated: August 21, 2012
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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