The earliest symptoms of the disease include a “bull’s eye” rash which means that the bacteria are multiplying in the body. This happens within the first two weeks after the bite. This area is generally not painful or itchy. The rash generally disappears after the first four weeks.
This stage can overlap with the early stage and generally occurs after the first two weeks of the \infection. This includes:
- enlarged lymph nodes
- sore throat
- vision changes
- muscle aches
It can also start affecting the joints, heart, and even the nervous system.
When the disease has spread fully throughout the body the symptoms may include:
- severe headaches
- arrhythmic heartbeat
- brain disorders
- short-term memory loss
- difficulty in concentrating
- mental fogginess
- problems following conversations
- numbness in the arms, legs, hands, or feet
The doctor may advice you to take the following tests:
ELISA (enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay): It is to detect antibodies against the bacterium
Polymerase chain reaction (PCR) is used to check for Lyme arthritis or nervous system symptoms. It is performed on joint fluid or spinal fluid.
Lyme disease can be best treated in the early stages.
Early treatment includes a course of oral antibiotics for a period of 14-21 days, after that special medication is to be used. Though the treatment will eliminate the infection, the symptoms improve overtime.