Lyme Disease is a tick-borne illness that causes signs and symptoms ranging from rash, fever, chills and body aches to joint swelling, weakness and temporary paralysis. Lyme disease is caused by the bacterium Borrelia burgdorferi. Deer ticks, which feed on the blood of animals and humans, can harbor the disease and spread it when feeding.

You're more likely to get Lyme disease if you live or spend time in the grassy and heavily wooded areas where ticks carrying the disease breed. It's important to take common-sense precautions in areas where Lyme disease is prevalent. If treated with appropriate antibiotics in the early stages of the disease, you'll most likely recover completely. However, some people have recurring or lingering symptoms long after the infection has cleared.

Lyme disease signs and symptoms vary widely because Lyme disease can affect various parts of the body. Not everyone with the disease will have all of the signs and symptoms. But in general, Lyme disease can cause rash, flu-like symptoms, migratory joint pain, neurological problems.  Less common signs and symptoms: Some people may experience heart problems — such as an irregular heartbeat — several weeks after infection, but this rarely lasts more than a few days or weeks. Eye inflammation, hepatitis and severe fatigue are possible as well.

For more information, please see http://www.mayoclinic.com/health/lyme-disease/DS00116/DSECTION American Lyme Disease Foundation – http://www.aldf.com/programs.shtml

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