OTHER TICK-BORNE DISEASES

The Science Still Lags On Many Tick Diseases. Our Mission Is To Help Get It. 

OTHER TICK-BORNE DISEASES OF THE U.S.

Ticks can carry pathogens that can cause significant disease and disability in humans. In addition to Lyme Disease and Alpha-gal Syndrome (Alpha-gal Allergy), the following diseases and conditions are found in the U.S. in ticks that bite humans. While the science still lags on these diseases, TBC United is committed to helping increase the awareness of these conditions, their symptoms, potential treatments, and prevention.

Anaplasmosis

Anaplasmosis is a disease caused by the bacterium Anaplasma phagocytophilum.

Associated ticks: blacklegged tick (Ixodes scapularis); western blacklegged tick (Ixodes pacificus)

Symptoms include: fever, severe headache, chills, muscle aches nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, loss of appetite

Babesiosis

Babesiosis is caused by microscopic parasites (typically Babesia microti in the U.S.) that infect red blood cells. Babesia infection can range in severity from asymptomatic to life threatening.

Associated ticks: blacklegged tick (Ixodes scapularis)

Symptoms include: Nonspecific flu-like symptoms, such as fever, chills, sweats, headache, body aches, loss of appetite, nausea, or fatigue. Babesiosis can cause a special type of anemia called hemolytic anemia. This type of anemia can lead to jaundice (yellowing of the skin) and dark urine. Although many people who are infected with Babesia do not have symptoms, for those who do effective treatment is available.

Borellia burgdorferi

Borellia burgdorferi (Lyme disease)

Associated ticks: blacklegged tick (Ixodes scapularis); western blacklegged tick (Ixodes pacificus)

Symptoms include: fever, headache, fatigue, and (in ~40% of cases) a characteristic skin rash called erythema migrans. If left untreated, infection can spread to joints, the heart, and the nervous system.

Borrelia mayonii

Borrelia mayonii infection has recently been described as a cause of illness in the upper midwestern United States. Borrelia mayonii is a new species and is the only species besides B. burgdorferi known to cause Lyme disease in North America.

Associated ticks: blacklegged tick (Ixodes scapularis); western blacklegged tick (Ixodes pacificus)

Symptoms include: fever, headache, chills, and muscle aches

Borrelia miyamotoi

Borrelia miyamotoi is a distant relative of the bacterium that causes Lyme disease (Borellia burgdorferi) and now recognized to cause illness in the U.S.

Associated ticks: blacklegged tick (Ixodes scapularis); western blacklegged tick (Ixodes pacificus)

Symptoms include: fever, headache, chills, body and joint pain, fatigue

Bourbon virus

Bourbon virus is a novel RNA virus in the genus Thogotovirus (family Orthomyxoviridae) that was discovered in Bourbon County, Kansas in 2014. Infection has been identified in a limited number of patients in the eastern half of the United States.

Associated ticks: unknown

Symptoms include: fever, tiredness, rash, headache, body aches, nausea, and vomiting, thrombocytopenia, leukopenia

Colorado tick fever

Colorado tick fever occurs in people who live in or visit areas of the western United States and western Canada that are 4,000–10,000 feet above sea level

Associated ticks: Rocky Mountain wood tick (Dermacentor andersoni)

Symptoms include: fever, headache, chills, body and joint pain, fatigue

Ehrlichiosis

Ehrlichiosis is the general name used to describe diseases caused by the bacteria Ehrlichia chaffeensis, E. ewingii, or E. muris eauclairensis in the United States. Most cases are due to infection with E. chaffeensis.

Associated ticks: Ehrlichia chaffeensis, E. ewingii:- Lone Star tick (Ambylomma americanum); E. muris eauclairensis: Blacklegged tick (Ixodes scapularis)

Symptoms include: Fever, chills, severe headache, extreme fatigue, muscle aches, nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, loss of appetite, confusion, rash (more common in children)

Heartland virus

Heartland virus cases have been identified in the Midwestern and southern United States.

Associated ticks: Studies suggest that the Lone Star tick (Amblyomma americanum) can transmit the virus

Symptoms include: fever, fatigue, decreased appetite, headache, nausea, diarrhea, and muscle or joint pain

Powassan virus

Powassan virus Although rare, the number of reported cases continues to increase. Most cases in the United States occur in the northeast and Great Lakes regions. There are no vaccines to prevent or medicines to treat Powassan virus.

Associated ticks: Blacklegged tick (Ixodes scapularis) and the groundhog tick (Ixodes cookei).

Symptoms include: fever, headache, chills, and muscle aches

Rocky Mountain Spotted Fever

Rocky Mountain Spotted Fever see “Spotted fever group rickettsioses”.

Spotted fever group rickettsioses

Spotted fever group rickettsioses (spotted fevers) are a group of diseases caused by closely related bacteria. These bacteria are spread to people through the bite of infected mites and ticks. The most serious and commonly reported spotted fever group rickettsiosis in the United States is Rocky Mountain spotted fever (RMSF).  Rocky Mountain spotted fever is a serious illness which can be deadly if not treated early.

  • Rickettsia parkeri rickettsiosis, caused by parkeri

  • Pacific Coast tick fever, caused by Rickettsia species 364D

  • Rickettsialpox, caused by Rickettsia akari

Associated ticks: Lone Star tick (Amblyomma americanum); American dog tick (Dermacentor variabilis), Rocky Mountain wood tick (Dermacentor andersoni), and the Brown dog tick (Rhipicephalus sangunineus)

Symptoms include: fatigue, fever, headache, muscle and joint pain

STARI

STARI (Southern tick-associated rash illness) STARI is diagnosed on the basis of symptoms, location based on presence of the Lone star tick, and possibility of tick bite.

Associated ticks: Lone Star tick (Amblyomma americanum)

Symptoms include: the STARI rash is a red, expanding “bull’s-eye” lesion that develops around the site of a Lone star tick bite. The rash usually appears within 7 days of tick bite and expands to a diameter of 8 centimeters (3 inches) or more. Patients may also experience fatigue, headache, fever, and muscle pains

Tickborne relapsing fever

Tickborne relapsing fever has been reported in 15 states: Arizona, California, Colorado, Idaho, Kansas, Montana, Nevada, New Mexico, Ohio, Oklahoma, Oregon, Texas, Utah, Washington, and Wyoming and is associated with sleeping in rustic cabins and vacation homes.

Associated ticks: soft ticks

Symptoms include: high fever (e.g., 103° F), headache, muscle and joint aches,  Symptoms can reoccur, producing a telltale pattern of fever lasting roughly 3 days, followed by 7 days without fever, followed by another 3 days of fever

Tularemia

Tularemia is a disease that infects animals (especially rabbits) and people, and occurs throughout the U.S.

Associated ticks: Lone star tick (Amblyomma americanum); Dog tick (Dermacentor variabilis), Wood tick (Dermacentor andersoni)

Symptoms include: fever as high as 104 °F, skin ulcer at the bite site accompanied by swelling of regional lymph glands, usually in the armpit or groin

This material is compiled from multiple respected sources, from TBC United research, and from the experiences of TBC United community members. While we work hard to ensure relevancy and currency, we cannot guarantee the accuracy of all information presented on this or associated (linked) web sites. The content is offered to provide practical and useful information on the subject matters covered. It is being presented with the understanding that TBC United is not engaged in rendering medical or other professional services. If medical or other expert assistance is required, the services of a licensed physician should be sought. If you choose to use preventive products on yourself, your loved ones, or your pets, carefully read and follow your medical professional and manufacturers’ recommendations.

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