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How to Recognize Symptoms of Lyme Disease

Although most tick bites do not result in Lyme disease, the disease is serious enough that you should know how to recognize the symptoms.


  • Step 1: Look for a bump or rash Look for a small red bump at the site of a tick bite within a few days to a month of being bitten. The bump will be followed by a bull's eye-shaped rash with a red center surrounded by a clear area and outer ring.
  • Step 2: Watch for flu-like symptoms Be on the alert for flu-like symptoms, such as chills, fever, fatigue, body aches, and headaches accompanying the rash.
  • TIP: Less common symptoms that may show up several weeks after an infection include eye inflammation, hepatitis, and severe fatigue. Some people have also experienced short-term heart problems such as an irregular heart beat.
  • Step 3: Watch for joint pain and swelling Look for bouts of joint pain and swelling. These may show up several weeks to months after an infection if it is not treated.
  • Step 4: Watch for more serious complications Watch for more serious complications that may show up weeks, months, or even years after an infection if it is not treated. These complications may include meningitis, numbness or weakness in your limbs, and impaired muscle movement.
  • Step 5: See a doctor See a doctor if you suspect you may have Lyme disease. Blood tests are not always necessary to diagnose the disease and your doctor can start you on an antibiotic regimen.
  • FACT: Lyme disease was first identified in Lyme, Connecticut, in 1975.

You Will Need

  • Tick bite
  • Small
  • red bump
  • Rash
  • Flu-like symptoms
  • Joint pain and swelling
  • Long-term complications
  • Doctor
  • Eye inflammation (optional)
  • Hepatitis (optional)
  • Severe fatigue (optional)

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