Symptoms of Tick-Borne Diseases

While the symptoms of tick-borne diseases can vary from person to person (and some people show no symptoms in the early stages of illness) knowing how to recognize the symptoms of the most common tick-borne diseases can be lifesaving. If you know you have been bitten by a tick—or if you have been spending time outdoors in tick-infested areas—here are the warning signs to watch for:

Symptoms of Lyme Disease

Disease is the most common tick disease and its signature symptom is the bulls-eye pattern rash. This rash, known as Erythema migrans (EM), spreads outward from the bite location in concentric rings. The center of the “target” is solid, circular, and can feel hard or raised to the touch. The rash is not painful and does not itch, and may appear anywhere from 24 hours to one week after infection. Not everyone with Lyme Disease will develop the bullseye rash, however. Some research suggests that 60% of people infected with Lyme Disease never get any rash.

If early symptoms are not identified, misdiagnosed, or simply ignored, Lyme Disease can progress. Symptoms can become more severe and affect many more bodily systems. Lyme Disease can lead to:

  • facial paralysis
  • joint and neck pain and stiffness
  • severe headaches
  • increased heart rate, and
  • severe, shooting pain in the arms, legs, and joints

Lyme Disease symptoms can become chronic health afflictions, where symptoms recur for months or years after infection. Long-term Lyme Disease can lead to memory loss, severe fatigue, and other neurological symptoms.

The latest research shows that for a small amount of patients, antibiotic treatments for Lyme Disease can trigger a related syndrome—post-treatment Lyme Disease syndrome (PTLDS) or post Lyme Disease syndrome (PLDS). As research into this condition is still emerging, it is important to be seen by a doctor with Lyme Disease experience in your local area: