Misdiagnosis of Lyme Disease

Topic Overview

Misdiagnosis of Lyme disease is common.

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

  • 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.

Related Information

Credits

By Healthwise Staff
E. Gregory Thompson, MD - Internal Medicine
Christine Hahn, MD - Epidemiology
Last Revised August 21, 2012

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