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How Common is it for Lyme Disease to go Undiagnosed?

Comedian Amy Schumer made headlines when she announced earlier this month that she was diagnosed with Lyme disease — and is led to believe that she’s had it for some time.

Richard Watkins, M.D., an infectious disease physician and associate professor of internal medicine at Northeast Ohio Medical University, tells Prevention, “The ticks that transmit Lyme disease are very small and many people don’t notice their bites. It is therefore not uncommon to see people with Lyme disease who were infected years earlier.”

The CDC shares early signs and symptoms of Lyme disease (three to 30 days after encountering the bite of an infected tick):

  • Fever
  • Chills
  • Headache
  • Fatigue
  • Muscle and joint aches
  • Swollen lymph nodes may occur in the absence of rash
  • A bulls-eye rash (Erythema migrans)


Over time, an infected person’s symptoms can progress to severe headaches and neck stiffness, facial palsy, arthritis, heart palpitations, nerve pain and more.