What is Lyme Disease and how do I protect myself from ticks?

What is Lyme Disease?

Lyme disease is caused by the Borrelia burgdorferi bacterium and is carried by infected black-legged ticks. It can be a chronic debilitating disease of humans. Initial symptoms include fever, headache, fatigue and skin rash. Left undiagnosed and untreated, the disease can spread to the heart, joints and the nervous system. The blacklegged tick or deer tick, Ixodes scapularis spreads the disease in the northeastern, mid-Atlantic, and north-central United States. The western blacklegged tick Ixodes pacificus spreads