It depends. Occasionally symptoms of lyme disease could mimic those of a medication reaction or allergy, contact dermatitis or other non-infectious problem like clinical depression. Generally a physician who specializes in infectious diseases would be required in order to distinguish lyme disease from these other disorders. Also, late stages of lyme disease need to be distinguished from earlier stages of lyme.
Yes, many. Some people who live or visit areas with lyme disease may be diagnosed with lyme disease on the basis of the characteristic lyme rash. In the absence of that rash, other lyme symptoms may appear similar to many other diseases including: lupus, rheumatic fever, rheumatoid arthritis, rocky mountain spotted fever, ehrlichiosis, babesiosis, meningitis, chronic fatigue syndrome or fibromyalgia.
Easy to see but... The symptoms of lyme are very easy to see but it may be hard to recognize these as lyme. Classic symptom of bullseye rash only seen in half or less, then flu-like symptoms, then migrating joint pains (often 1st in knees), fatigue, poor memory/concentration, can't find right word, blurred vision. Can cause virtually any symptom, often misdiagnosed as chronic fatigue, fibromyalgia, arthritis, MS etc.
See below. Red, expanding rash called erythema migrans (EM) Fatigue, chills, fever, headache, muscle and joint aches, and swollen lymph nodes. Bell's Palsy or facial paralysis, neck stiffness, Heart palpitations and dizziness, Late stage Lyme has bouts of arthritis with severe joint pain and swelling.
Please see below. Early symptoms of lyme disease can include rash, flulike illness characterized by fever, chills, achy muscles or joints, headache, and malaise. In the area of the tick bite, lymph nodes can be enlarged and tender. Later, facial paralysis, meningitis, arthritis, and/or arrhythmias may develop.
Yes. People react to infections in different ways. Most who are infected with lyme will have vague non-specific symptoms initially like headache and achiness that may be mild and not noticed as a sign of illness, but then have more pronounced symptoms that appear months or years later.
Flu-like. Primary lyme disease presents with flu-like symptoms, low grade fevers, aches and pain and often the characteristic bulls-eye rash.