Lyme Disease

Lyme Disease

Ticks can spread disease including Lyme disease. Lyme disease is transmitted to humans through the bite of a tick infected with the bacterium Borrelia burgdorferi. Fever, headache, fatigue, and a skin rash at the location of the bite are the most common symptoms of Lyme disease. If left untreated, infection can spread to joints, the heart, and the nervous system. If caught early enough, most cases of Lyme disease can be treated with a few weeks of antibiotics. The best way to prevent Lyme disease is to prevent tick bites.

Untreated Lyme disease can produce a wide range of symptoms, depending on the stage of infection. These include fever, rash, facial paralysis, and arthritis. For a detailed description of signs and symptoms of Lyme disease, visit: Signs and Symptoms of Untreated Lyme Disease | Lyme Disease | CDC
Early Signs and Symptoms (3 to 30 Days After Tick Bite)
Facial Palsy Erythema migrans rash on darker skin tone
Photo Credit: CDC 

The appearance of the erythema migrans rash can vary widely.

  •  Fever, chills, headache, fatigue, muscle and joint aches, and swollen lymph nodes may occur in the absence of rash
  • Erythema migrans (EM) rash (see photos):
    • 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 several days reaching up to 12 inches or more (30 cm) 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
    • Does not always appear as a “classic” erythema migrans rash
 Ticks live in grassy wooded areas. Around the home remove brush and leaf litter and mow lawn frequently. Avoid tall grass and over-grown, brushy areas.
  • Use an insect repellent according to manufacturer’s instructions.
  • When in wooded areas tuck pant leg into socks, wear long-sleeved shirts, and closed shoes.
  • Wear light-colored clothing to see the ticks easier for removal.
  • When returning indoors, shower using a washcloth to remove any unattached ticks.
  • Examine yourself, children, and pets for ticks when returning indoors. 
 The Best Way to Rmove a Tick Found Attached to the Body
  •  Grasp it close to the mouth parts near the skin surface.
  • With gentle, steady pressure, pull the tick upward away from the skin until it releases.
  • Once the tick is removed, wash the area of the bite with an antiseptic or rubbing alcohol.


The Connecticut Agricultural Experiment Station provides the testing of ticks at no cost. Please note the tick must be engorged. Please note that the Tick Testing Program is intended for the identification and/or testing of ticks which have fed on humans. Ticks removed from pets will be identified, but not tested.

 Information on submitting ticks can be found on their website: Tick Related Information (


If you begin to experience a rash or fever within several weeks of removing a tick, see your doctor. Be sure to tell the doctor about your recent tick bite, when the bite occurred, and where you most likely acquired the tick.

CDC Key Facts:

  • Symptoms of Lyme disease begin 3-30 days after a tick bite; average 7 days.
  • Of people who get Lyme disease, 70 to 80% develop a rash, called an erythema migrans.
  • The ticks that transmit Lyme disease can sometimes cause other diseases, too.
  • Only blacklegged ticks transmit the bacteria that cause Lyme disease.