What are the 3 stages of Lyme disease?

Lyme disease typically progresses through three stages: early localized, early disseminated, and late disseminated.

  1. Early localized stage: This stage typically begins within a few days to a few weeks after a tick bite. The most common symptom is an expanding rash called erythema migrans (EM) which can appear at the site of the tick bite. Other symptoms may include fever, headache, fatigue, and muscle and joint aches.
  2. Early disseminated stage: If the disease is not treated during the early localized stage, it can spread to other parts of the body through the bloodstream. Symptoms can include multiple EM rashes, Bell's palsy, neurological symptoms such as numbness, tingling, or shooting pains in the arms or legs, and heart palpitations.
  3. Late disseminated stage: If the disease is still not treated, it can progress to the late disseminated stage, which can occur weeks, months, or even years after the tick bite. Symptoms can include chronic joint pain and swelling, particularly in the knees, and neurological symptoms such as cognitive defects, memory loss, and difficulty concentrating.

It's important to note that not everyone who is infected with the bacteria will develop all of these symptoms, and some may not develop any symptoms at all. Also, the progression of the disease can be different from person to person and early diagnosis and treatment are crucial to prevent complications.

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