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The list of possible symptoms for Lyme disease is long, and symptoms can affect every part of the body. Symptoms usually begin to appear within three to 30 days, and each child may experience them differently.
Around 70 to 80 percent of children with Lyme disease develop a rash that is pink in the center and a deeper red on the surrounding skin. Its scientific name is erythema migrans, and it’s also sometimes called a “bull’s eye rash.” This rash:
Also, your child may show some flu-like symptoms, such as:
If your child has Lyme disease that has gone undiagnosed and untreated, the bacteria may enter her bloodstream and travel to other tissues in her body. After a few weeks to months, she may show signs and symptoms including:
By far, the most common late-stage symptom of Lyme disease is arthritis, particularly in the large joints, especially the knee. Typically, the joints will be more swollen and tender than painful, and anti-inflammatory medicine can help.
The arthritis usually lasts for several weeks before getting better, and then reappearing in a different joint. In the vast majority of cases, the arthritis eventually goes away on its own.
Lyme disease is caused when one of several types of tiny black tick bites a human, injecting a bacterium into the skin. It cannot be spread from human to human.
There are three main bacteria that can cause Lyme disease, but only one of them, Borrelia burgdorferi, is found in the U.S. The other two are found in Europe and Asia, and people infected with them may show different symptoms.
We are grateful to have been ranked #1 on U.S. News & World Report's list of the best children's hospitals in the nation for the third year in a row, an honor we could not have achieved without the patients and families who inspire us to do our very best for them. Thanks to you, Boston Children's is a place where we can write the greatest children's stories ever told.”