Understanding Lyme Disease -- Symptoms

What Are the Symptoms of Lyme Disease?

The first sign of Lyme disease is usually a bull's-eye rash that begins from 3 to 30 days after the bite. This circular rash expands to several inches or more in diameter before disappearing after a few weeks.

Be aware, however, that there's not always a rash, or the rash may look different than a bull's-eye shape.

Other early symptoms -- with or without the rash -- may be flu-like feelings of fatigue, headache, fever, or body aches.

You may also have vague pains in the joints, without swelling. In about 60% of people who are not treated, this joint pain returns weeks or months to years later as painful arthritis, with swelling often in one or both knees. In about 10% to 20% of these cases, Lyme arthritis becomes chronic. Some patients also experience a complex range of other symptoms, including stiff neck, headaches, sensitivity to light, memory loss, mood changes, chronic fatigue, recurring rashes, paralysis of one or both sides of the face, disruption of heart rhythm, and areas of tingling or numbness.

 

 

See Your Doctor About Lyme Disease If:

You think you may have contracted Lyme disease, especially if you notice a bull's-eye rash or if you suddenly develop knee pain and swelling without previous injury or arthritis. Delaying treatment can result in more serious neurological symptoms that can be difficult to cure.

WebMD Medical Reference Reviewed by Sabrina Felson, MD on July 20, 2017

Sources

SOURCES: 

Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). Johns Hopkins Arthritis Center. 

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