What You Need to Know about Lyme Disease

Lyme disease is a tickborne illness that is caused by the bacteria Borrelia burgdorferi. It is contracted when the result of a black-legged tick (lxodestick tick) is infected with the Borrelia burgdorferi bacteria. The tick must remain attached to the person for at least 24 hours in order for the bacteria to be transmitted. Although Lyme disease is rare in our state, researchers say it is possible to get Lyme disease in Oklahoma.

Some symptoms of Lyme disease, according to the Oklahoma government’s fact sheet are as follows:

A large, circular rash that may have a target or a “bulls-eye” appearance around the bite. It will generally appear 3 to 30 days following the tick bite.



Muscle/joint pain

Swollen lymph nodes


Numbness in the arms or legs

Facial paralysis

Swelling/pain in large joints

Painful arthritis

Heart abnormalities

Central nervous system problems

Lyme disease is normally treated with antibiotics. Amoxicillin or doxycycline for two or four weeks is usually effective. Your health care provider may prescribe additional antibiotics that are tailored to your specific situation.

There may be other reasons for some of your symptoms, so make sure you see a health care provider if you have a concern about anything you are experiencing. When spending time outdoors, make sure you check every day for ticks, especially around waistbands, arm pits and any hidden area. Use tick repellant on your clothes and body, and make sure you avoid areas that have high brush or grass.