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Expected Duration

How long symptoms last depends on the cause and how soon treatment is started. Symptoms can improve as soon as 24 hours after treatment starts. However, they may continue for weeks or months when related to Lyme disease, many bacterial strains or tuberculosis. If infection damages joints, symptoms may last a lifetime.

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From Health A-Z, Harvard Health Publications. Copyright 2007 by the President and Fellows of Harvard College. All rights reserved. Written permission is required to reproduce, in any manner, in whole or in part, the material contained herein. To make a reprint request, contact Harvard Health Publications. Used with permission of StayWell.

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