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Lyme Disease

Names

Erythema Migrans with Polyarthritis
Lyme Arthritis
Lyme Borreliosis

Description

The four main species of bacteria that cause lyme disease are Borrelia burgdorferi, Borrelia mayonii, Borrelia afzelii and Borrelia garinii bacteria. It is transmitted through the bite of an infected black-legged tick, commonly known as a deer tick.

Prevalence

US Cases: ~30,000 cases of lyme disease are reported to CDC each year
Source: Centers for disease control and prevention
Incidence: 31,552 – 40,672
Source: Centers for disease control and prevention

Typical Age of onset

Can occur at any age

Symptoms

  • Rash. From 3 to 30 days after an infected tick bite, an expanding red area might appear that sometimes clears in the center, forming a bull’s-eye pattern. The rash (erythema migrans) expands slowly over days and can spread to 12 inches (30 centimeters) across. It is typically not itchy or painful.
  • Erythema migrans
  • Flu-like symptoms: Fever, chills, fatigue, body aches and a headache may accompany the rash.

Later signs and symptoms

If untreated, new signs and symptoms of Lyme infection might appear in the following weeks to months. These include:

  • Erythema migrans appearing in other areas of your body.
  • Joint pain. Bouts of severe joint pain and swelling are especially likely to affect your knees, but the pain can shift from one joint to another.
  • Neurological problems. Weeks, months or even years after infection, you might develop inflammation of the membranes surrounding your brain (meningitis), temporary paralysis of one side of your face (Bell's palsy), numbness or weakness in your limbs, and impaired muscle movement.

Signs and symptoms caused by the bacterium Borrelia mayonii may also include:

  • Nausea and vomiting
  • Diffuse rashes (rather than a single bull's-eye rash commonly associated with Lyme disease)
  • Less common signs and symptoms
    Several weeks after infection, some people develop:
  • Heart problems, such as an irregular heartbeat. Heart problems rarely last more than a few days or weeks.
  • Eye inflammation
  • Liver inflammation (hepatitis)
  • Severe fatigue

References