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Lyme disease is caused by the bacterium Borrelia burgdorferi and is transmitted to humans through the bite of infected blacklegged ticks. Typical symptoms include fever, headache, fatigue, and a characteristic skin rash called erythema migrans. If left untreated, infection can spread to joints, the heart, and the nervous system. Lyme disease is diagnosed based on symptoms, physical findings (e.g., rash), and the possibility of exposure to infected ticks; laboratory testing is helpful if used correctly and performed with validated methods. Most cases of Lyme disease can be treated successfully with a few weeks of antibiotics. Steps to prevent Lyme disease include using insect repellent, removing ticks promptly, applying pesticides, and reducing tick habitat. The ticks that transmit Lyme disease can occasionally transmit other tickborne diseases as well.

Patient Information

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Transmission

How ticks spread Lyme disease...

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Signs and Symptoms

Signs and symptoms of illness...

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Diagnosis and Testing

What to expect from your office visit...

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Treatment

What to expect from treatment...

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Post-Treatment Lyme Disease Syndrome

If symptoms persist after treatment...

General Lyme Topics

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Prevention

Avoid getting infected...

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Tick Removal

How to remove a tick...

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Communications Tool Kit

Resources for spreading the message...

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Statistics

Incidence, geography, seasonality and more...

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Additional Resources

Links to clinical trials, key research articles, PubMed search, and more...

 
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    Bacterial Diseases Branch
    Foothills Campus
    Fort Collins, CO 80521
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    (800-232-4636)
    TTY: (888) 232-6348
  • Contact CDC–INFO


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