Lyme disease is the most common tick-borne illness in the United States. Caused by four main species of bacteria, Lyme disease can lead to long-term health problems such as arthritis and nervous system issues. Two of the four types of bacteria species are active in the US and are known as Borrelia borgdorferi and Borrelia mayonii. The other two species, Borrelia afzelii and Borrelia garinii are active in Asia and Europe.
People who live in grassy or wooded areas are more likely to get Lyme disease than those who live in urban areas. (Hello, Mississippi!) Symptoms of Lyme disease vary and begin occurring within three to thirty days. A small, red bump similar to a mosquito bite is considered a normal tick bite and is nothing to worry about.
Early signs and symptoms include:
- Expanding red rash with a clear center that forms a bullseye pattern.
- Other symptoms such as a fever, chills, body aches, headache, neck stiffness, and swollen lymph nodes may also occur.
Later signs and symptoms can also occur in the following weeks and months if Lyme disease is left untreated. Symptoms may include:
- Bullseye rash appearing on other areas of the body other than the infection site.
- Bouts of severe joint pain and swelling, particularly in the knees. The pain may shift from one joint to another.
Other less common signs and symptoms can also occur such as:
- Heart problems including irregular heartbeat
- Eye inflammation
- Liver inflammation (hepatitis)
- Severe fatigue
As you can see, Lyme disease can lead to serious health issues if left untreated. It’s time to visit your healthcare provider if you have been bitten by a tick and are displaying signs and symptoms of Lyme disease. Patients who have already been diagnosed with Lyme disease should also visit their providers if they have disappearing symptoms. Disappearing symptoms do not mean that Lyme disease is gone. It can spread to other areas of the body causing arthritis and nervous system problems, among others.
EliteCare is open for urgent care seven days a week so you never need to wait a day to get treatment. If you believe you have been bitten by a tick and are showing symptoms of Lyme disease, we can help you get a diagnosis and begin treatment. Walk-ins are welcome Monday through Friday from 8 am to 6 pm, Saturdays from 8 am to 3 pm, and Sundays from 1 pm to 5 pm. You can also shorten your wait by calling us ahead of your visit at 662-348-3342.