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What is lyme disease?

Lyme disease is an infection spread by the bite of an infected deer tick. Lyme disease is most common in mid-to-late summer when people spend more time outdoors. People of all ages can get Lyme disease.

What are the symptoms of lyme disease?

Some people with Lyme disease get better without treatment. For people who do have symptoms, they can come in phases:

Early symptoms:

Usually appear days to weeks after infection

  • Bullseye rash at or near where the tick bit the skin (also called a target lesion)
  • Fever with or without chills
  • Body aches

Later symptoms:

Usually appear weeks to months after infection

  • Bullseye rash at or near where the tick bit the skin (also called a target lesion) or on other parts of the body
  • Joint pain or joint swelling
  • In rare cases, numbness or weakness in the arms or legs
  • In rare cases, Bell’s Palsy (drooping on one side of the face)
  • In rare cases, swelling of the eyes or heart


Rev. 4/2018. Reviewed by the MGHfC Family Advisory Council.