Skip to Content
Home > Health Information > Health Library > Symptoms of Lyme Disease
The first symptom of Lyme disease in most people is an expanding red skin rash (called erythema migrans or an EM rash). In about a third of people, the rash looks like a bull's-eye, with a pale center area surrounded by a bright red rim. The rash is often accompanied by flu-like symptoms, including:
About 20% of people have viruslike symptoms only (no rash) or have no symptoms at all.
If Lyme disease is not detected and treated while early symptoms are present, or if a person never has early symptoms that trigger the need for treatment, the infection may spread to the heart, the joints, the brain and spinal cord (nervous system), or sites on the skin.
Heart and nervous system problems may develop weeks to months after the initial infection, including:
Damage to the joints, nerves, and brain may develop months to years after a person becomes infected, causing:
Current as ofJuly 30, 2018
Author: Healthwise StaffMedical Review: E. Gregory Thompson, MD - Internal MedicineAdam Husney, MD - Family MedicineChristine Hahn, MD - Infectious Disease, EpidemiologyW. David Colby IV, MSc, MD, FRCPC - Infectious Disease
Current as of:
July 30, 2018
Medical Review:E. Gregory Thompson, MD - Internal Medicine & Adam Husney, MD - Family Medicine & Christine Hahn, MD - Infectious Disease, Epidemiology & W. David Colby IV, MSc, MD, FRCPC - Infectious Disease
To learn more about Healthwise, visit Healthwise.org.
© 1995-2018 Healthwise, Incorporated. Healthwise, Healthwise for every health decision, and the Healthwise logo are trademarks of Healthwise, Incorporated.
Our interactive Decision Points guide you through making key health decisions by combining medical information with your personal information.
You'll find Decision Points to help you answer questions about:
Get started learning more about your health!
Our Interactive Tools can help you make smart decisions for a healthier life. You'll find personal calculators and tools for health and fitness, lifestyle checkups, and pregnancy.
Feeling under the weather?
Use our interactive symptom checker to evaluate your symptoms and determine appropriate action or treatment.
See important information from Billings Clinic on Non-discrimination and Interpreter Services.
Billings Clinic is proud to be an equal opportunity/affirmative action (EOE/AA) e-verify employer.