I live in Dubai and on my visit to Upstate New York, I have contracted Lyme disease. Where can I go for treatment?
closed as unclear what you're asking by Aditya Somani, Karlson, VMAtm, Mark Mayo♦, Kate Gregory Aug 6 '14 at 18:21
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As it is believed to be a bacterial infection, early-stage Lyme disease is treated with 10–21-day course of antibiotics, with oral doxycycline, amoxicillin, and cefuroxime axetil usually prescribed. If it affects the heart or nervous system, ceftriaxone or penicillin may be administered intravenously instead.
Lyme disease does not necessarily require laboratory testing— evidence of the tick bite may be sufficient— to begin treatment, but you still need a medical professional to diagnose you, because a prescription is required for the antibiotics. Fortunately, the oral antibiotics can be prescribed by any physician or nurse practitioner and obtained with prescription from any corner pharmacy without much difficulty. Unfortunately, you may face the issues of cost and access to primary care.
Since you are a traveler and presumably do not have a primary care doctor in the U.S., I would suggest you contact any nearby convenient care center to see if they offer Lyme disease screenings. Convenient care centers, also known as retail health clinics, are type of limited-service healthcare facility located in supermarkets and other retailers. If they do not do such screenings, they may recommend a facility in your area which can. If not, you can go to an urgent care center, which offer a wider variety of services.
If there are neither in your area, and your hotel or host cannot find you a doctor's office, then you have no choice but to go to an emergency care center (typically the emergency room at the nearest hospital). This is to be your last resort, as you may face an extremely long wait, and will certainly incur an extremely high charge— 6-10 times the cost of an urgent care visit according to various studies.
You will need to present some form of payment or insurance for the walk-in clinics, at least for the initial diagnosis, plus the cost of any tests they require, then the drugs. They may or may not accept traveler's medical insurance, in which case you would need to foot the bill and get reimbursed from your insurance company later.