What Is Lyme Disease?

Lyme disease is a bacterial infection that’s transmitted by black-legged deer ticks. When bitten by an infected tick, a person can develop a series of symptoms over the weeks and months that follow. If treated in the early stage with antibiotics, Lyme disease is easily cured. If left untreated, Lyme disease can lead to serious complications affecting the entire body, including neurological symptoms, heart inflammation, arthritis and nerve pain.

Each year, there are about 30,000 cases of Lyme disease reported to state health departments, and it’s suspected that even more are not reported. Lyme disease affects people of all ages all over the country, but there’s a particularly high incidence of the disease in the upper Midwest, including northern Illinois and Indiana. People who work or spend recreational time outdoors where the ticks live, or those who have pets who spend time outdoors are at the greatest risk of getting Lyme disease. The disease is associated with grasslands and forests, but it can also be found in suburban yards.