What does Lyme disease look like?


Lyme disease is a bacterial infection caused by the bacterium Borrelia burgdorferi. The symptoms of Lyme disease can vary, and not all people with Lyme disease experience the same symptoms or in the same order. The symptoms usually develop within a few days to a few weeks after a person has been bitten by an infected tick.

Some of the common symptoms of Lyme disease include:

  • A red, expanding rash, called erythema migrans (EM), that often appears at the site of the tick bite. The rash usually begins within 3 to 30 days after the tick bite and can spread over time. It typically has a bullseye appearance with a red center and a clear area around it.
  • Flu-like symptoms, such as fever, chills, fatigue, headache, muscle and joint pain, and swollen lymph nodes.
  • Some people with Lyme disease may develop additional symptoms, such as facial palsy (drooping on one or both sides of the face), heart palpitations, dizziness or shortness of breath, shooting pains, and cognitive difficulties.

It’s important to note that not everyone with Lyme disease develops the characteristic bullseye rash. Additionally, some people may not have any symptoms at all, or their symptoms may be nonspecific and easily mistaken for other conditions. If you suspect that you may have Lyme disease, it’s important to see a healthcare provider for an accurate diagnosis and appropriate treatment.

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