Lyme disease is the most commonly reported insect-transmitted disease in the United States, affecting an estimated 300,000 people a year, according to the Centers For Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). In certain parts of the country (like the northeast or upper Midwest), checking for ticks is practically a summertime rite of passage.
Experts know that Lyme disease is caused by the bacteria Borrelia burgdorferi, which is transmitted from the bite of an infected tick. But diagnosing the condition isn’t always so straightforward. Once inside your body, the bacteria can wreak havoc in a number of ways. Yes, that can include the classic bullseye-shaped rash. But many of the other symptoms of Lyme disease aren’t as well known, and they can be frustratingly vague.
That’s why it’s important to familiarize yourself with the signs and seek medical assistance if you think you or a loved one may have Lyme. The disease is easy to treat as long as you know what to look for.