Lyme disease is caused by the bacterium Borrelia burgdorferi and is transmitted to humans through the bite of infected blacklegged ticks. Typical symptoms include fever, headache, fatigue, and a characteristic skin rash called erythema migrans. If left untreated, infection can spread to joints, the heart, and the nervous system. Lyme disease is diagnosed based on symptoms, physical findings (e.g., rash), and the possibility of exposure to infected ticks; laboratory testing is helpful if used correctly and performed with validated methods. Most cases of Lyme disease can be treated successfully with a few weeks of antibiotics. Steps to prevent Lyme disease include using insect repellent, removing ticks promptly, applying pesticides, and reducing tick habitat. The ticks that transmit Lyme disease can occasionally transmit other tickborne diseases as well.

For more information, visit the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

Prevent Lyme disease!

Wear repellent

  • Use a repellent with 20% DEET
  • Also, clothing treated with permethrin kills ticks!

Check for ticks daily

  • Check for ticks on you and your children. Ticks like to hide in folds of skin and in the hair.
  • Check pets too!

Shower soon after being outdoors

  • Shower after being outdoors to remove ticks
  • Tumble clothes in a hot dryer to kill hidden ticks.

Call your doctor if you get a fever or rash

  • A Lyme disease rash may appear within 3-30 days, followed by fever, muscle and joint pain, or fatigue.

For more information:

Telephone: 800-CDC-INFO, (800-232-4636)
TTY: 888-232-6348