Failure to diagnose tropical diseases

Before travelling abroad, it is a good idea to arrange a check-up with your GP to determine whether you need any vaccinations. The vaccinations recommended depend on the country you are visiting and the tropical diseases that can be contracted during your visit. Tropical diseases include:

  • Malaria
  • Chagas disease
  • Dengue fever
  • Leishmaniasis
  • Schistosomiasis

Despite their exotic names, there are some simple explanations for the spread of these diseases. Malaria is spread by mosquitoes and is caused by a parasite. The disease known as schistosomiasis is also caused by a parasite and can affect the digestive system or urinary tract. Dengue, or dengue fever, is a virus spread by mosquitoes and causes excessive bleeding known as haemorrhagic fever. All have their own symptoms and affect people differently depending on severity. However, most tropical diseases come with debilitating fevers and all can cause complications without treatment. Prevention is the best form of treatment which is why it is imperative that travellers seek advice about possible vaccinations. There are treatments available after contraction but a failure to diagnose tropical diseases can cause unnecessary suffering and potential mortality.

Misdiagnosis and negligence

If you have an illness and have travelled abroad, it is essential that you disclose this to your doctor. As tropical diseases are usually confined to certain regions, they may be more difficult to spot than more common infections. Complications can arise when the diagnosis is delayed so give as much information as possible to ensure that doctors can treat you for a potential tropical disease. Failure to diagnose tropical diseases can result in complications which may cause organ failure in severe cases. If you have not been diagnosed early enough to treat your illness, you may have been a victim of negligence.

Compensation claims

Medical negligence may have occurred if your medical professional did not examine you or question you thoroughly enough to make a diagnosis. They may not have taken into account the fact that you recently travelled abroad or they may have failed to send you to an appropriate specialist for further examination. Where there is evidence of negligence and your illness progressed, Accident Advice Helpline can assist you in making a compensation claim for your pain and suffering. The ‘no win, no fee*’ policy we offer means that you won’t have to suffer financially to make your claim with us. To discuss your claim with a member of our expert team dial 0800 689 0500 now.

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