Lyme Disease Symptoms Include Rash and Aches

Wednesday, April 8, 2009

Lyme disease can infect several parts of the body and produce different symptoms at different times. Not all people have all symptoms, and many of the symptoms can occur as the result of other diseases.

The first sign is usually a circular rash, resembling a bull's-eye, that occurs in about 70 to 80 percent of cases, three to 30 days after a person has been bitten. The rash gradually expands over several days, reaching up to 12 inches across. People also experience fatigue, chills, fever, headache, muscle and joint aches and swollen lymph nodes.

Untreated, the infection can spread to other parts of the body within days or weeks, producing an array of symptoms: loss of facial muscle tone, severe headaches, neck stiffness, heart palpitations, dizziness and pain that moves from joint to joint.

After several months, about 60 percent of patients who have not been treated for the infection will begin to have bouts of arthritis, with severe joint pain and swelling. In addition, as many as 5 percent of untreated patients may develop chronic neurological complaints months to years after infection. These include shooting pains, numbness or tingling in the hands or feet, and problems with concentration and short-term memory.

Source: Centers for Disease Control and Prevention

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