The first symptom of Lyme disease in most people is an
expanding red skin rash (called erythema migrans or an EM rash). In about a
third of people, the rash looks like a bull's-eye, with a pale center area
surrounded by a bright red rim. The rash is often accompanied by flu-like
About 20% of people have viruslike symptoms only (no rash) or
have no symptoms at all.
If Lyme disease is not detected and
treated while early symptoms are present, or if a person never has early
symptoms that trigger the need for treatment, the infection may spread to the
heart, the joints, the brain and spinal cord (nervous system), or sites on the
Heart and nervous system problems may develop weeks to
months after the initial infection, including:
Damage to the joints, nerves, and brain may develop months to
years after a person becomes infected, causing:
ByHealthwise StaffPrimary Medical ReviewerE. Gregory Thompson, MD - Internal MedicineSpecialist Medical ReviewerChristine Hahn, MD - EpidemiologyW. David Colby IV, MSc, MD, FRCPC - Infectious Disease
Current as ofMarch 3, 2017
Current as of:
March 3, 2017
E. Gregory Thompson, MD - Internal Medicine & Christine Hahn, MD - Epidemiology & W. David Colby IV, MSc, MD, FRCPC - Infectious Disease
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Last modified on: 8 September 2017