Avril Lavigne is telling reporters she was bed-ridden for five months following a tick bite that led to Lyme disease. The pop singer says at times she was unable to take a shower for a week, as she was not capable of standing.

The 30-year-old states she does not know how or where she was bitten by the tick, but the arachnid must be attached to its host for 36 hours to transmit the bacteria responsible for the illness.

"I had no idea a bug bite could do this," the singer told People magazine about the disease, whose early symptoms include fever, headache and feeling tired. "I was bedridden for five months."

Lyme disease is a bacterial illness that can affect humans as well as other animals. Lavigne said she was diagnosed following months of feeling lethargic and lightheaded.

Borrelia burgdorferi bacteria causes a specific sequence of symptoms, beginning with a swollen red mark around the site of the bite. As the bacteria multiply at the scene of the initial infection, a red bull's-eye develops on the skin.

Flu-like symptoms, including a low-grade fever, are often experienced in people infected with the bacteria. Other early symptoms include headaches, pains in muscles and joints, fatigue and swollen lymph nodes.

Heart rates can rise in victims as the disease continues to progress, and this condition can be dangerous for some people. The bacteria can then enter the nervous system, setting off uncontrollable spasms, called palsies, as well as other body movements, including leg shaking.

Once the microorganism enters the cerebrospinal fluid between the brain and spine, the bacteria can trigger Lyme meningitis. Symptoms include migraines, eye sensitivities, neck stiffness, fever, seizures and general confusion.

"Most cases of Lyme disease can be treated successfully with a few weeks of antibiotics. Steps to prevent Lyme disease include using insect repellent, removing ticks promptly, applying pesticides and reducing tick habitat. The ticks that transmit Lyme disease can occasionally transmit other tickborne diseases as well," the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) reports.

Within a few months, the patient can develop severe damage to their nervous system and muscles. They can experience heavy tremors and seizures, as well as suffer brain and heart damage. Chronic arthritis can set in within one to two months if the disease is left untreated.

The disease can go on to weaken the heart of victims and drive irregular heart rhythms, potentially leading to cardiac arrest. This can be followed by the onset of Bell's palsy, a paralysis of muscles in the face that can cause stiffness and pain.

Lyme disease is usually diagnosed by examination of physical symptoms, including the distinctive rash which marks the initial infection. Laboratory tests are sometimes ordered to confirm the diagnosis.

Lavigne is not the only celebrity to suffer from the illness. Yolanda Foster from the reality show Real Housewives of Beverly Hills has also come forward with her own story of battling Lyme disease.

Photo: NIAID | Flickr

ⓒ 2021 TECHTIMES.com All rights reserved. Do not reproduce without permission.