Stages of Lyme Disease

Three Levels of Severity


Deer ticks are very small parasites that are loosely related to spiders. After feeding on deer, they latch onto your skin and feed on your blood. These ticks are carriers of Lyme disease, which they transfer to you as they eat. The stages of Lyme disease increase in severity, causing scary, sometimes life-long effects if not diagnosed or treated in a timely manner.

Stages of Lyme Disease

Early Localized

Timing: A few hours, days, or weeks after a bite

  • Skin rash that possibly looks like a bull’s eye
  • Flu-like symptoms
  • Fatigue
  • Headache and stiff neck
  • Muscle soreness
  • Joint pain
  • Swollen lymph nodes
  • Sore throat

Early Disseminated

Timing: A few weeks or months after a bite

  • Chills
  • Fever
  • Headache
  • Fatigue
  • Pain, weakness, or numbness in the extremities
  • Vision changes
  • Heart problems
  • Facial paralysis

Late Disseminated

Timing: Weeks, months, or years after a bite

  • Arthritis in joints near the point of infection
  • Severe headaches
  • Vertigo
  • MIgrating pains
  • Stiff, aching neck
  • Sleep troubles; insomnia and severe fatigue
  • Change in heart rhythm
  • Mental fog
  • Numbness in extremities
  • Problems concentration and processing information

You can learn more about the stages of Lyme disease at Global Lyme Alliance.

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