Lyme disease is an acute inflammatory disease characterized by skin changes, joint inflammation and flu-like symptoms caused by the bacterium Borrelia burgdorferi transmitted by the bite of a deer tick. Symptoms resolve in 3 to 4 weeks even without treatment, but secondary or tertiary disease may develop if initial infection is not treated.
Updated by: A.D.A.M. Editorial: David Zieve, MD, MHA, and David R. Eltz. Previously reviewed by Linda J. Vorvick, MD, Medical Director, MEDEX Northwest Division of Physician Assistant Studies, University of Washington, School of Medicine; and Jatin M. Vyas, MD, PhD, Instructor in Medicine, Harvard Medical School, Assistant in Medicine, Division of Infectious Disease, Department of Medicine, Massachusetts General Hospital (3/11/2011).
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