Deer Tick

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Ehrlichiosis

Ehrlichiosis describes several tick-borne bacterial infections originally known to only affect dogs and livestock in the United States, although human disease has been reported in the Far East since the 1950s. Since the mid-1980s, however, bacteria of the genus Ehrlichia have increasingly infected humans in the United States. In June 1999, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention began listing ehrlichiosis as a reportable disease (see surveillance criteria); 302 cases were reported in 1999.

Ehrlichia bacteria live inside the cells of infected individuals and cause two major diseases in the U.S. human population. Human granulocytic ehrlichiosis (HGE) occurs when the bacteria infect granulocytes, specific cells involved in immune responses and allergies. Human monocytic ehrlichiosis (HME) occurs when a different Ehrlichia species infects macrophages, another type of immune cell.

HGE and HME differ, but their symptoms overlap. Both often cause fever, headaches, and aches and pains, but a rash is not as common as with Rocky Mountain spotted fever or Lyme disease. HGE and HME can be treated with antibiotics if the infection is detected early. No vaccine is available.


 

Human Granulocytic Ehrlichiosis 

Vector:

Deer Tick or Black-legged Tick (Ixodes scapularis)
American Dog Tick (Dermacentor variabilis)
Lone Star Tick (Amblyomma americanum)
 

Causative Agent:

Anaplasma phagocytohphila

 

Endemic Area:

Northeast including Dutchess County, NY
Upper Midwest
 

Incubation Period:

1-30 days
 

Classic Symptoms:

Fever
Headache
Constitutional symptoms
Possible death
 

Lab Test(s):

Platelet count
Granulocyte count
Serology
Smear (morulae)
 

Treatment:

Antibiotic: Doxycycline 
 


Human Monocytic Ehrlichiosis 

Vector:

Lone Star Tick (Amblyomma americanum)
 

Causative Agent:

Ehrlichia chafeensis
 
 

Endemic Area:

South-Central United States
South Atlantic States
Cases reported in Dutchess County, New York
 

Incubation Period:

1-30 days

Classic Symptoms:

Fever
Headache
Constitutional symptoms
Possible death
 

Lab Test(s):

Platelet count
Monocyte count
Serology
Smear (morulae)

Treatment:

Antibiotic: Doxycycline 
 


Search the Center for Disease Control, The National Institute of Health or PubMed for more information on Ehrlichiosis.
 

Source: Dutchess County DOH, National Institute of Health

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


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