Lyme disease is an infectious disease caused by the bacterium Borrelia burgdorferi, which is transmitted to humans through the bite of infected black-legged ticks. The symptoms of Lyme disease can vary widely, and not everyone who is infected will experience the same symptoms. Some of the late symptoms of Lyme disease that may occur weeks or months after the initial infection include:
- Joint pain and swelling: Lyme disease can cause arthritis-like symptoms, including pain, swelling, and stiffness in the joints. This can be particularly severe in the knees and other large joints.
- Chronic fatigue: People with late-stage Lyme disease may experience severe fatigue that is not relieved by rest.
- Neurological symptoms: Lyme disease can affect the nervous system, leading to symptoms such as numbness, tingling, and shooting pains in the limbs. In severe cases, Lyme disease can cause inflammation of the brain and spinal cord, leading to symptoms such as confusion, memory loss, and seizures.
- Cardiac symptoms: In rare cases, Lyme disease can cause inflammation of the heart, leading to symptoms such as chest pain, palpitations, and shortness of breath. This condition, known as Lyme carditis, can be life-threatening if left untreated.