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California tick bites may cause Lyme disease

Los Angeles residents who venture into the outdoors either at home or abroad may risk a serious disease caused by the bite of a small insect called a tick. Ticks may cause an itchy bite, but they are usually harmless. In some cases, however, the victim may develop a serious illness that can be hard to diagnose.

One man, a music teacher visiting Europe for a conference, found out just how difficult it can be to find a doctor who recognizes the symptoms and performs the appropriate tests. He was bitten, removed the tick and cleaned the bite wound. A few days later he found a bull's-eye shaped rash around the bite and simultaneously began showing symptoms of Lyme disease, a tick-borne illness that can become quite serious if untreated. He had a headache that caused an anxious feeling, coughing and fever.

After 10 long months of tests, he found a doctor in the U.S. who understood the proper test needed to help him. The usual tick-borne illness tests in America commonly test for only the most common type of tick, leaving those bitten by one of several other varieties without proper diagnostic tools. Before receiving the appropriate diagnosis and treatment, he suffered through weakness and other symptoms that made it difficult for him to perform normal activity.

Failure to diagnose a full-blown case of dangerous Lyme disease can have very serious consequences for patients and their families. A medical malpractice attorney may be able to help with necessary details in determining whether filing a malpractice suit against the health care providers involved is the best action to take.

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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