Lyme disease is the most common vector-borne disease in the United States. The bacterium Borrelia Burgdorferi is transmitted to humans through the bite of infected ticks.
Typical symptoms include fever, headache, fatigue, and a characteristic skin rash called erythema migrans or "bulls - eye" rash. Only 75% of people have a rash.
Due to the difficulty of diagnosing tick borne diseases, it can often go untreated for years. Ticks that transmit Lyme disease can also transfer other bacterium. (co-infections) If left untreated, infection can spread to joints, the heart, and the nervous system.
Standard laboratory testing includes Western Blot or ELISA. 50% a "false negative" will appear on a test result.
Most cases of Lyme disease can be treated successfully with antibiotics within the first few weeks. Lyme disease can be difficult to diagnose, or is often misdiagnosed. Alternatives to care can be recommend as needed to treat the whole individual.
Steps to prevent Lyme disease include using full clothing when outdoors, repellents, and skin check when coming inside. Don't forget to check your outdoor pets.
pictures and standard care information from the CDC- Lyme disease