Healthy Living

Lyme Disease: The Top 10 Questions

Can a person get Lyme disease twice?

Can a person get Lyme disease twice?

An individual can get a new case of Lyme disease if he/she has had the disease previously and has been treated with antibiotics and recovered.

If a person is exposed to the bacteria again through another tick bite, they will become re-infected and will again require treatment. If the individual develops symptoms after the initial treatment and recovery, he/she should see a doctor to verify if it is a new infection or a recurrence of symptoms from the previous infection. However, it can be troublesome to differentiate whether or not the symptoms are the result of the previous infection or a new one.

If a person has not been exposed again to tick bites, but is still displaying symptoms, then it might be a symptom recurrence which can be the result of another unrelated illness, a re-emergence of the first infection that had been treated only partially, or a Borrelia-triggered immune mediated symptom complex.

In most cases of Lyme disease, a single erythema migrans rash and fever can be a sign of a new acute infection. But, some patients do experience recurrent erythema migrans rashes, known as satellite rashes, which may come about later in the course of the disease.