Lyme disease symptoms progress through 3 stages. The common, early infection symptoms are a red, warm to the touch skin spot which may eventually grow up to six inches in diameter.
This is typically followed by development of fever, fatigue and other flu-like symptoms.
The bacteria Borrelia burgdorferi causes Lyme disease in humans. The host of the bacteria, deer ticks, are common in North America, Europe and Asia.
When an infected tick bites a human and stays attached for a period of time, the bacteria is transferred.
Lyme disease infection symptoms are typically detected 3-32 days following exposure and infection. Generally, the symptoms proceed through three stages; early-localized, early-disseminated, and late.
Lyme disease symptoms:
Stage One – Early Localized
- red, warm skin spot (sometimes growing up to 6 inches in diameter)
- the spot redness may fade in the central portion of the spot
Stage Two – Early Disseminated
- general feeling of illness
- stiff neck
- muscle and joint aches
- numerous small red skin spots
- sore throat
- swelling of the lymph nodes
- partial paralysis of one side of face
- chest pain
Stage Three – Late
- warm, swollen, painful joints
- mood, sleep, memory, speech abnormalities
- shooting pains in arms, back, and legs
Diagnosis is typically through blood testing and physical examination. However, diagnosis methods for Lyme disease are not entirely accurate and people may be misdiagnosed for a prolonged period of time.
Treatment for Lyme disease is typically with antibiotics. Pain control can be achieved with off the shelf pain relievers of the NSAID family.