Symptoms of Lyme disease and COVID-19 might feel similar but there are some differences

HOUSTON – Health experts are sounding the alarm about a disease with similar symptoms to COVID-19 -- Lyme disease.

Lyme disease, unlike coronavirus, is caused by bacteria. The infection is spread through tick bites and poses a serious threat. It is treatable, but the earlier it’s diagnosed, the better.

Since a lot of people are eager to find outdoor activities and take a break from cabin fever during the pandemic, they could be putting themselves at higher risk of being bitten by a tick.

The problem is that the symptoms of Lyme disease and COVID-19 are very similar, but there are some differences.

Symptoms of Lyme and COVID-19:

  • Fever.
  • Body aches
  • Headaches.
  • Fatigue.

Differences between Lyme and COVID-19:

  • Lyme disease typically peaks in the summer.
  • COVID-19 patients can lose their sense of taste and smell.
  • COVID-19 is more likely than Lyme disease to cause breathing problems.
  • Lyme disease often causes a bull’s-eye-like rash at the site of the tick bite.

Any Lab Test Now examines blood samples for the bacteria that causes Lyme disease. They do not test for coronavirus, but said they do offer antibody tests.

Robert Lowry said a lot of patients come for lab tests looking for answers on their own.

“They’re trying to figure out what’s going on,” Lowry said. “Lyme disease is not always the case, but it’s not frequently tested for.”

If you have the tick that you suspect gave you symptoms, you can place the tick in a plastic bag and take it to get tested too.