Lyme disease is caused by the bacterium Borrelia burdforferi and is transmitted by the blacklegged tick.  It is the most commonly reported vector-borne disease in the United States and it is spreading across the state of Michigan.  Typical clinical signs include flu-like symptoms.  However, if left untreated, it may spread to joints, the heart, and/or the nervous system.  The majority of cases can be treated successfully with antibiotics.  Finding and removing ticks promptly can prevent Lyme disease.
Signs and Symptoms of Untreated Lyme Disease
Untreated Lyme disease can produce a wide range of symptoms, depending on the stage of infection.  These inclue fever, rash, facial paralysis and arhtritis.  Seek medical attention if you observe an of these symptoms and have had a tick bite, live in an area known for Lyme disease, or have recently traveled to an area where Lyme disease occurs.

Early Signs and Symptoms (3 to 30 days after tick bite)
*Fever, chills, headache, fatigue, muscle and joint aches, and swollen lymph nodes
*Erythema mirgans (EM) rash:
-Occurs in approximately 70 to 80 percent of infected persons
-Begins at the site of a tick bite after a delay of 3 to 30 days (average is about 7 days)
-Expands gradually over a period of days reaching up to 12 inches or more across
-May feel warm to the touch but is rarely itchy or painful
-Sometimes clears as it enlarges, resulting in a target or "bull's-eye" appearance
-May appear on any area of the body

Later Signs and Symptoms (days to months after tick bite)
*Severe headaches and neck stiffness
*Additional EM rashes on other areas of the body
*Arthritis with severs joint pain and swelling, particularly the knees and other large joints
*Facial palsy (loss of muscle tone or droop on one or both sides of the face)
*Intermittent pain in tendons, muscles, joints and bones
*Heart palpitations or an irregular heart beat (Lyme carditis)
*Episodes of dizziness or shortness of breath
*Inflammation of the brain and spinal cord
*Nerve pain
*Shooting pains, numbness or tingling in the hands or feet
*Problems with short-term memory

*Please note that all information and pictures provided can be found on the website by clicking on the link provided,4579,7-186-76711_77928---,00.html