Picture of Lyme Disease (Erythema-Migrans)
Lyme disease is a tick-borne infection caused by the spirochete bacteria, Borrelia burgdorferi. Hard-bodied Ixodes ticks transmit the infection. Lyme disease is endemic in many parts of the United States. Some people infected with Lyme disease develop a characteristic bulls-eye rash called erythema migrans. The tick bite is the central area from which the rash migrates outward. The rash may be evident on other parts of the body as well. Other symptoms that may occur along with the rash include burning or itching at the bite location, fever, swollen lymph nodes, and malaise. Early Lyme disease often responds well to antibiotic treatment.
In later stages, Lyme disease may cause more serious, systemic illness. Symptoms in this stage may include neurological dysfunction, joint pain, and cardiac conduction problems. Current testing for Lyme disease is often insufficient for many reasons. Many cases of Lyme disease go undiagnosed and inadequately treated.
Text Reference: "Lyme Disease." Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.