More than 20,000 cases of Lyme disease are reported every year. The bacterial infection is transmitted to humans through tick bites. The disease is difficult to treat, and it could spread to your central nervous system, muscles and joints, eyes, and heart. But according to researchers at the Mayo Clinic, you could be carrying the disease without even knowing. Look for these five symptoms to protect yourself against the dangerous disease.

Look For A Rash

A rash is the most common symptom of a Lyme tick bite. It appears as a solid red oval or a bull’s-eye, and it could appear anywhere on the body. The bull’s-eye has a central red spot, surrounded by a white circle and then a wide red circle outside that. The rash doesn’t itch, so many might not think much of it. But be careful. The rash is a dangerous sign that the infection is spreading within your skin tissues.

Dr. Pawluk

Achy, Stiff Muscles

You wouldn’t think anything of achy, stiff muscles and joints. But joint pain and stiffness is an early symptom of Lyme disease. Your joints may be painful, swollen, inflamed and have limited range of motion. If you notice a prolonged muscle and joint pain, schedule an appointment with your doctor. It’s better to be safe than sorry.

Down to Earth

You’re Always Tired

Exhaustion and lack of energy are the most frequent symptoms of Lyme disease. You could ignore the symptom as regular tiredness, but it can be very severe. If you find yourself needing to take a nap during the day or needing more hours of sleep, speak to your doctor as soon as possible.

Doctor Oz

You Don’t Have The Flu

Many symptoms of Lyme disease are confused with the common flu, including headaches, dizziness, fever, muscle pain, and malaise. About 50-percent of patients suffering with Lyme disease experience these flu-like symptoms within one week of their infection. If you notice these symptoms, watch for other symptoms to make sure you don’t have Lyme disease.

Health & Safety Handbook

Slight Memory Loss

Lyme disease can affect your brain and mental processes. You may begin to notice slight memory lapses and your inability to process information at a rapid pace. You might have difficulty concentrating. This isn’t necessarily due to stress or age. Instead, it could be Lyme disease; therefore, it’s best to seek medical attention as soon as possible.

Complete Neurological Care