Tick-borne diseases including Lyme can attack virtually any system in the body. Some of the first symptoms may include a flu-like condition, with fever, chills, headache, stiff neck, achiness, and fatigue. Other symptoms can include pain in various joints and muscles, neurological problems, heart involvement, problems with vision or hearing, migraines, and low-grade fever. The hallmark bull’s-eye rash, or erythema migrans (EM) rash, which appears at the site of the tick bite, is absent in half of the diagnosed cases.
Called the “Great Imitator,” Lyme disease can mimic hundreds of other conditions since its symptoms mirror many medical problems such as multiple sclerosis, arthritis, chronic fatigue syndrome or lupus. Symptoms of Lyme and other tick-borne diseases may come and go and may be subtle or pronounced.
Lyme disease is caused by the bacterium Borrelia burgdorferi, which is transmitted through the bite of an infected tick. One tick can carry other diseases, so a person can get multiple diseases from a single bite.
Download a complete list to read more about possible symptoms.