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Signs and Symptoms

Most people with this infection might respond to it differently, and its signs and symptoms may vary or depend on its severity.

Early Signs and Symptoms

A tiny red rash, very similar to a mosquito bite and will appear in the area of tick bite and will disappear in a few days. Nevertheless, these symptoms may appear within a week or just a few days after we have been infected:
  • Rash. After a month of getting infected from a tick bite, an expanding red will appear in our skin and sometimes is clear in the center. Similar to a bull’s eye shape. This is also known as erythema migrans that will slowly expand over a few days and can spread up to 12” or 30cm diameter. Usually, it is painless & not itchy but it can feel warm to the touch, although not all will develop a rash. And some will develop a rash in more than one place on their body.
  • Early symptoms. Swollen lymph nodes, headache, fatigue, neck stiffness, chills, body pain, and fever and accompanied by a rash.

Late Signs and Symptoms

If left untreated, other signs and symptoms of infection may appear after weeks or months. It includes:
  • It can affect our facial nerves and can develop Bell’s Palsy, or we will lose the ability to control one or both sides of our facial nerves.
  • Joint pains, if remain untreated, can possibly develop Arthritis.
  • Neurological problems, neck stiffness, and severe headaches, or Meningitis
  • Erythema Migrans, rashes will begin to appear in different areas of our body.

Less common signs & symptoms

  • Eyes Inflammation
  • Extreme Fatigue
  • Hepatitis or Liver Inflammation
  • Some people after getting infections will develop or cause irregularities or abnormalities of heartbeat that will lead to Heart Palpitations.

Risk Factors for Lyme Disease

How can I get infected?

  • Lyme disease spreads by the bite of a tick, infected with the bacteria called Borrelia Burgdorferi. The Ixodes scapularis, deer tick, or the black-legged tick are very common and spreads the infections in north-central, northeastern, as well as in mid-Atlantic United States. And the Ixodes pacificus or the western black-legged tick spreads the infections on the Pacific Coast.
  • Ticks can attach to any part of our body but are mostly found in difficult-to-see areas in our body. Such as in our scalp, groin, and armpits. It needs to be attached to our body for at least 36 hrs before it can transmit the bacteria.
  • In most cases, most people get affected through the bite of nymphs or also known as immature ticks. Nymphs are very tiny and hard to see; it is common during the summer and spring months of the year. Adult ticks can also transmit the disease but they are much bigger and can easily be discovered and removed before transmitting the bacteria. Adult ticks are more active during the winter season of the year.

How often can I get infected?

Your surroundings where you are living or when you are having a vacation can affect your probability of getting infected, the most common factor to get infected includes:
  • In the United States, deer ticks are commonly found in heavily wooded areas, especially in the Midwest and Northeast. People in these regions who spent a lot of time outside or have outdoor jobs have a higher risk.
  • Exposing our skin. If you are in the regions where deer tricks are common, avoid your pets wandering in grasses and tall weeds. Use long pants and long sleeves for protection. Ticks can easily attach to our skin.
Some people even after treatment, may still have some of its symptoms, like fatigue and muscle pain. These continuing symptoms are also known as Lyme Disease post-treatment syndrome and treating it with more antibiotics does not help. Most experts believe that certain people who get infected with Lyme disease are inclined to emerge with an autoimmune response that contributes to the symptoms. But more studies and research is needed for this theory. If we were bitten by a tick or exposed to a tick infected area, we need to see a doctor immediately.