How Do I Know if I Have Lyme Disease?
Lyme disease is an illness caused by a tick bite--specifically, the bite of the black legged tick or deer tick. Some of these ticks carry a bacteria called Borrelia burgdorferi. The tick transfers the bacteria to a person’s bloodstream through the bite. The tick must be attached for at least 24 hours before this can happen.
Lyme Disease: What to Look For
If you become ill within a few weeks of a known tick bite, see your health care provider right away. And even when you aren’t sure if you’ve been bitten by a tick--but have the symptoms of Lyme disease and have been in the great outdoors--you should check in with your provider. Immature deer ticks cause most infections; they are very tiny and many people are bitten without being aware of it.
- Muscle and joint pain
- Swollen lymph nodes
- A bull’s-eye-shaped rash at the site of the bite, which can appear within a few days or up to a month after the bite
If Lyme disease is caught and treated early, the infection usually goes away quickly without long-term problems. That’s why it’s important to see your health care provider promptly if you have Lyme disease symptoms, even if you don’t think you’ve been bitten by a tick.
How Is Lyme Disease Diagnosed?
A blood test is used to determine whether someone is infected with Lyme disease.
Building Knowledge, Enhancing Care
Did you know WCHN is involved in Lyme Disease research? Learn more here about our efforts.