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Diagnosing Lyme disease can be hard

If a New York doctor suspects that a patient may have Lyme disease, the first step is to do a blood test. The blood test will look for the presence of Lyme antibodies as antibodies are the body's way of trying to stop the infection from getting worse. However, the presence of antibodies means that an individual may have been exposed to the illness even if he or she doesn't actually have it.

The next step is to do a blot test that looks for more specific signs of the disease. However, it is still possible that a patient had the condition years ago or was exposed to it without experiencing any symptoms in the past. Therefore, a patient could have another condition while spending months or even years getting treated for a disease that he or she doesn't have.

This can be problematic because patients could develop an infection if they have an intravenous line inserted into their body. One woman who was treated for Lyme disease despite not having the illness contracted meningitis that took months to recover from. In addition to infections, drugs can have side effects that could adversely effect a patient's health. Therefore, it may be beneficial for a patient to look for a second opinion if symptoms remain or worsen after four weeks of treatment.

A failure to diagnose a disease in a timely manner can result in a worsened medical condition that requires additional and expensive medical treatment. Patients who have been affected in such a manner may want to meet with a medical malpractice attorney in order to learn about the legal options they may have.

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