Medical questions & health advice by board certified doctors
"What are the symptoms of Lyme Disease?"
What are the symptoms of Lyme disease? I found a deer tick recently that I'm pretty sure was on my skin for a few days. There wasn't any rash around it, but there are really high rates of Lyme disease in this part of the country. What signs should I watch for as a first warning?
Lyme Disease is still a common tick borne illness in the United States. It is caused by the bacteria Borrelia Burgdorferi. The first sign of infection is a large, painless, target shaped skin rash. Go to Google Images and search for "Lyme rash" to see some examples. If you see more than one of these rashes, it can mean that the infection has spread to the blood. If the rash is missed and the infection goes untreated, then infection spreads to other parts of the body. You would then experience flu-like symptoms, headaches, neck stiffness, fever and chills, fatigue, malaise, muscle pain. Other findings are invasion of the heart causing electrical block, and central nervous system infection. In the final stage of the disease, patients develop arthritis and many other neurological symptoms. Lyme disease is treated with the antibiotic Doxycycline unless there is a reason it can't be used. Patient's are typically cleared of the infection if it is caught early enough. I think it wouldn't be a bad idea to schedule an appointment with your primary care physician and show him or her the skin area around the tick bite. This way, you don' have to worry about missing a subtle rash. Good luck.
Need more info?See a primary care-doctor today
Zocdoc Answers is for general informational purposes only and is not a substitute for professional medical advice. If you think you may have a medical emergency, call your doctor (in the United States) 911 immediately. Always seek the advice of your doctor before starting or changing treatment. Medical professionals who provide responses to health-related questions are intended third party beneficiaries with certain rights under Zocdoc’s Terms of Service.