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Diseases & Topics

Lyme Disease

Lyme disease is caused by the bacterium Borrelia burgdorferi. It is transmitted to humans by the bite of an infected blacklegged tick (Ixodes scapularis). Cases have been documented in North Carolina.

Typical symptoms include fever, headache, fatigue, and a characteristic "bull's eye" shaped skin rash called erythema migrans. If left untreated, infection can spread to joints, heart and the nervous system. Lyme disease is diagnosed based on symptoms and the possibility of exposure to infected ticks. Laboratory testing can be helpful. Most cases of Lyme disease can be treated successfully with a few weeks of antibiotics.

To prevent Lyme disease and other tick-borne illnesses, use insect repellent, remove ticks promptly and eliminate tick habitat around your home through landscaping and integrated pest management practices.

In North Carolina

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