It is estimated that 300,000 people get Lyme disease in the United States each year. However, tests to diagnose the disease are often unreliable or only test for the telltale signs of the disease caused by the most common form of tick. In the case of one man, he was sick for 10 months because his doctor and other medical professionals were not able to treat him.
The reason why the disease is so hard to treat is because doctors tend to look for other causes of the symptoms of the diseases if tests come back negative. Typically, those with Lyme disease will develop a rash in the shape of a bull's-eye where they have been infected and will develop a fever, headaches and a cough.
Why could a test for Lyme disease come back negative even if that is what a patient has? The ELISA test as well as the Western blot test will test for antibodies that are fighting the disease. However, as the disease may incubate in a patient for a relatively prolonged period of time, the antibodies may not be present. However, another test called the C6-based ELISA test will test for Lyme disease from up to 18 different ticks, which may make it easier to diagnose those who may be suffering from it.
In the event that a patient suffers an injury or a disease gets progressively worse because of a doctor's error or hospital negligence, it may be possible to file a lawsuit against that doctor or any other medical professional who misdiagnosed the patient. Those who think that they may have been injured due to a misdiagnosed ailment may wish to hire a personal injury lawyer to help pursue the case.
Source: Medical Daily, "Man's 10-Month Lyme Disease Stint Exposes Holes, Confusion With Treating It In The US", Anthony Rivas, July 08, 2014