I live in Dubai and on my visit to Upstate New York, I have contracted Lyme disease. Where can I go for treatment?

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    Are you still in New York or are you in Dubai? And if in New York how did you find out that you have Lyme disease? – Karlson Aug 5 '14 at 21:20
  • @pnuts I had a friend who contracted Lyme disease but with no "bullseye". On top of this based on the first sentence the visit to Upstate New York seems to be over, so information on where OP currently is and does he know that he has Lyme is relevant since "bullseye" may not be Lyme disease as well. – Karlson Aug 5 '14 at 22:26
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    I think this is a reasonable question. Not every kind of medical facility offers the same kinds of services, and especially since U.S. healthcare is mostly privately delivered (even if it is, percentage-wise, mostly publicly funded), a visitor may not be clear on the options. There isn't any central directory of doctors and clinics one can just look it up in. – choster Aug 5 '14 at 23:17
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    Friend had Lyme Disease in the UK. Also no bullseye. – Mark Mayo Aug 6 '14 at 9:10
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    @pnuts it was more just because of the comment above re bullseye rash, saying it can still be Lymes if it doesn't have it. Not an answer tho, was just a comment. The OP should still go to the doctor. – Mark Mayo Aug 7 '14 at 6:45

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.

Comparison table of U.S. healthcare facility services

Source: Urgent Care Center of America Foundation

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.

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