Lyme disease

A disease caused by the bacterium, which is transmitted by the bite of a tick that usually lives on deer. At the site of the bite, a red dot may appear and gradually expand into an area up to 5 mm (/ in) across. Symptoms including fever, headache, and muscle pain usually develop; these symptoms are followed by joint inflammation, which typically affects the knees and other large joints. Symptoms may vary in severity and occur in cycles lasting a week or so. If the disease is not treated, complications including meningitis, facial palsy, and an abnormal heartbeat (see arrhythmia, cardiac) may develop. The most serious long-term complication is arthritis. The disease can be cleared up with antibiotic drugs. Treatment is most effective when given soon after the initial infection.


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