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Lyme disease symptoms? Bull's-eye rash isn't whole story

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(CBS) What are the symptoms of Lyme disease? That's a question many are asking as we head into prime season for the tick-borne illness.

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In rare cases, Lyme causes eye inflammation, and severe fatigue. But experts say the following 5 symptoms are ones people should especially look out for, according to WebMD:

  • Bull's-eye rash. The rash, known as Erythema migrans, occurs in 70 to 80 percent of Lyme cases, and starts as a small red spot that forms between three days and a few weeks. The rash can range in size from that of a dime to the width of a person's back. As infection spreads, rashes can spread across the body.

  • Flu-like symptoms. The rash is often accompanied by symptoms like fever, headache, stiff neck, body aches, and fatigue. They may resolve within days or a few weeks.

  • Arthritis. Sixty percent of people not treated with antibiotics develop arthritis - recurrent and painful attacks that cause swollen joints. It occurs most commonly in the knee, and lasts a few days to a few months. About 10 to percent of untreated patients develop lasting arthritis.

  • Neurological symptoms - Lyme can cause severe headaches (meningitis), facial paralysis (Bell's palsy), numbness, pain, or poor coordination. Nervous system problems can develop after weeks, or up to years following an untreated Lyme infection.

  • Heart problems - Fewer than one out of 10 Lyme patients develop heart problems like a slow heartbeat, often accompanied by dizziness and shortness of breath.

Experts advise seeing a doctor if you're experiencing any of these symptoms in Lyme-heavy regions, so the doctor can prescribe antibiotics.

Specifically, these 12 northern states account for 95 percent of Lyme cases: Pennsylvania, New Jersey, New York, Massachusetts, Connecticut, Wisconsin, Maryland, Minnesota, New Hampshire, Delaware, Maine, and Virginia.

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And each year the number of infections seems to grow - Lyme cases have tripled from more than 10,000 infections in 1995 to almost 40,000 in 2009.

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