Lyme disease is a bacterial infection you get from the bite of an infected tick. The first symptom is usually a red rash, which may look like a bull's eye. But not all people with Lyme disease have a rash. As the infection spreads to other parts of the body, you may have
- A fever
- A headache
- Body aches
- A stiff neck
Lyme disease can be hard to diagnose because many of its symptoms are like those of the flu and other diseases. And you may not have noticed a tick bite. Your health care provider will look at your symptoms and medical history to figure out whether you have Lyme disease. Lab tests may not always give a clear answer until you have been infected for at least a few weeks.
Antibiotics can cure most cases of Lyme disease. The sooner treatment begins, the quicker and more complete the recovery.
After treatment, some patients may still have muscle or joint aches and nervous system symptoms. This is called post-treatment Lyme disease syndrome (PTLDS). Long-term antibiotics have not been shown to help with PTLDS. However, there are ways to help with the symptoms of PTLDS, and most patients do get better with time.
- Lyme Disease (American Academy of Family Physicians) Also in Spanish
- Lyme Disease (National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases)
- Lyme Disease Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ) (Centers for Disease Control and Prevention) Also in Spanish
- Tick Talk: Block Tick Bites and Lyme Disease (National Institutes of Health) Also in Spanish
- Ticks and Lyme Disease: Symptoms, Treatment, and Prevention (Food and Drug Administration) - PDF Also in Spanish
Prevention and Risk Factors
- Stop Ticks (Centers for Disease Control and Prevention) Also in Spanish
- Tick Removal: A Step-by-Step Guide (For Parents) (Nemours Foundation) Also in Spanish
- Travelers' Health: Protection against Mosquitoes, Ticks, and Other Arthropods (Centers for Disease Control and Prevention)
- Genetics Home Reference: Lyme disease (National Library of Medicine)
- Lyme Disease (Logical Images)
Health Check Tools
- Lyme Disease: Fact or Fiction? (Centers for Disease Control and Prevention)
Statistics and Research
- Lyme Disease Data (Centers for Disease Control and Prevention)
- ClinicalTrials.gov: Lyme Disease (National Institutes of Health)