Lyme disease is a bacterial infection caused by the bite of a deer tick carrying the bacterium Borrelia Burgdorferi (BB). This bacteria is a cousin to the spirochete bacterium responsible for syphilis. Infected ticks thrive in forested areas. They transmit the bacteria to humans, which causes a range of health problems. With an early diagnosis, it is possible to recover completely without long-term effects, but undiagnosed Lyme disease can have severe complications.
The most typical and distinctive of all symptoms is the Erythema migrans (EM) rash. It is present in 70% to 80% of infected individuals and is first present at the site of the tick bite. Most people notice the rash three days to a month following exposure; it often develops in a bull's eye pattern and is not itchy or painful. The mildwarm redness spreads outward gradually as the infection progresses. Additional EM rashes may appear on different sites if treatment does not begin promptly.
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