Understanding Lyme Disease: Causes, Symptoms, and Prevention (Updated)

Stages of Lyme disease

After being bitten by a tick infected with Borrelia burgdorferi, there are at least three stages of the disease:

  • Stage 1: Occurs 1 to 30 days after being bitten by an infected tick. A bull’s eye rash will show near the tick bite up to seven days after the bite. Patients often experience flu-like symptoms with malaise, fever, and chills throughout this time. Other symptoms of stage 1 include arthralgia, myalgias, and headaches.
  • Stage 2: Occurs 3 to 10 weeks after being bitten, when the disease is not treated, Lyme It displays systemic signs and symptoms with hematologic or lymphatic involvement.The most common manifestations are associated with the musculoskeletal system (migratory polyarticular arthritis, intermittent joint pain) and the neurologic function (Bell palsy, mild state of confusion).
  • Stage 3: Occurs months to years after being bitten, when the disease is not treated, and it is known as the Lyme latency period.Patients may experience more severe signs and symptoms during this period, including autoimmune joint disease, autoimmune neurologic disease, and neurologic abnormalities such as encephalomyelitis and late axonal neuropathies.

Written by Martin Davis