What Part of the Body Does Lyme Disease Affect?


Quick Answer

Lyme disease can affect the skin, heart, nerves and joints, advises Vermont's Department of Health. Symptoms first appear within three to 30 days after infection by a tick bite. Most patients experience a rash that looks like a bull's eye at the site of the bite.

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What Part of the Body Does Lyme Disease Affect?
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Full Answer

Other symptoms patients may experience at the onset of Lyme disease include fever and chills, headache, fatigue, swollen lymph nodes, and muscle and joint pain, states Vermont's Department of Health. Without treatment the disease can spread, resulting in disseminated Lyme disease.

During the first stages of disseminated Lyme disease, it affects the joints, heart and nerves. Patients might experience painful and swollen joints, palpitations, chest pain and shortness of breath, advises the University of Maryland Medical Center. Neurological symptoms can include temporary paralysis of facial muscles, weakness and pain in the limbs, and numbness. If the disease continues untreated, many patients may experience arthritis in the knees and other joints, and a small percentage may develop neurological problems including shooting pain and numbness in the hands and feet.

Lyme disease is treated with antibiotics such as doxycycline or amoxicillin. Most patients are cured of the disease following treatment, states the University of Maryland Medical Center. In the later stages, intravenous antibiotics may be necessary.

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