Pop star Avril Lavigne recently drew attention not for her singing voice but to the problem of misdiagnosing Lyme disease.

Lyme is an infectious bacterial disease most commonly contracted through a tick bite. It has been contracted by people in all 50 states and 60 countries nationwide.

Early symptoms of Lyme disease may include:

  • Skin rash, redness an irritation
  • Fever
  • Headache
  • Extreme fatigue
  • Memory loss, trouble focusing, depression, anxiety
  • Joint pain
  • Flu symptoms
  • Eye inflammation
  • Swollen lymph nodes

When left undiagnosed and untreated, Lyme symptoms become debilitating. Sufferers experience various degrees of muscle atrophy, joint and nerve pain, and heart palpitations.

Lavigne, 30, said in recent interviews that she spent the better part of the last year battling the disease, and was at first unable to find a doctor who would diagnose her with Lyme. As she told ABC News: "They would pull up their computer and be like, ‘Chronic fatigue syndrome.’ Or, ‘Why don't you try to get out of bed, Avril ... Are you depressed?’”

Her comments arrive on the heels of a study from the non-profit organization LymeDisease.org that determined Lyme disease misdiagnoses and delayed diagnoses are common. Why? The organization found that Lyme testing is largely unreliable, and that patients are subsequently treated for such ailments as mood disorder, fibromyalgia or chronic fatigue syndrome.

Whether it was Lyme or another commonly misdiagnosed disease, you have legal recourse if you suffered as the result of a misdiagnosis. Call the medical malpractice attorneys at Kline & Specter who handle medical malpractice cases in New Jersey, New York, ,Delaware, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania and nationwide for a free evaluation of your case: 800-243-1100.