Although Lyme disease is the most common tick-transmitted condition in North America, no human instances of the illness have originated in Colorado, according to a Colorado State University Extension report about ticks and tick-borne diseases.
While the ticks that transmit Lyme disease do not naturally occur in Colorado, the state is home to tick species that pose health risks to humans. Colorado tick fever is the most common tick-borne illness in the region, and while it shares some symptoms with Lyme disease it usually resolves itself without any treatment aside from removing the tick.
Lyme Disease Symptoms
Lyme disease is caused by a bacteria harbored by deer ticks. When detected early, it can be easily treated with antibiotics. Untreated, Lyme disease can lead to long-term complications.
Symptoms of Lyme disease vary by individual and may affect the skin, joints and nervous system. Initial signs of Lyme disease include:
- Rash of small, reddish bumps near the tick bite; within a few days of the bite, the rash may grow and form a pattern like a bull’s-eye
If not treated, those with Lyme disease may in following weeks develop additional symptoms that include joint pain and neurological problems.
Colorado Tick Fever Symptoms
Like Lyme disease, the early signs of Colorado tick fever are flu-like and generally present themselves within a few days to a week after the tick bite. With Colorado tick fever, a sudden fever often develops, remains for a few days, and may return again.
Other symptoms of Colorado tick fever include:
- Muscle aches
- Nausea or vomiting
According to the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment, complete recovery from Colorado tick fever may take two to three weeks. Symptoms can be treated with over-the-counter medications, although aspirin is not advised.
When to Contact Your Doctor
You should contact your primary care physician if you are unable to remove an embedded tick; the longer a tick remains attached, the greater the risk of illness.
If you have been in an area where Lyme disease is prevalent and you begin to experience symptoms, you should contact your doctor immediately. You should also consult with your physician if you experienced symptoms of Lyme disease that disappeared; Lyme disease may continue to spread if not treated.
If you’re seeking a knowledgeable, compassionate primary care doctor in the Littleton, Colorado, area, please contact Dr. Andy Fine online or call 303-703-8583 to schedule your appointment.