US Health Officials Warn A Lesser-Known Tick-Borne Infection Is On The Up
A little-known and rare tick-borne disease is on the rise in the US. Known as anaplasmosis, the bacterial disease is spread to people by tick bites, primarily from the blacklegged tick (Ixodes scapularis) and the western blacklegged tick (Ixodes pacificus), two species associated with the better-known infection of Lyme disease.
Health officials in New York’s Onondaga County recently reported an unexpected case of anaplasmosis in Central New York. They also explained that recent years have seen an uptick (excuse the pun) of cases of this once-rare disease in the area. While a total of three cases were reported in Onondaga County from 2015 to 2020, there have been six reported cases so far this year.
“In New York state, the disease is spread by the blacklegged tick (Ixodes scapularis), which is the same type of tick that typically spreads Lyme disease,” Dr Indu Gupta, health commissioner of Onondaga County, said in a statement. “If we are diligent in practicing the same prevention measures we’ve learned to prevent Lyme disease, we are protecting ourselves from other tickborne diseases including anaplasmosis.”
(See link for article)
The US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) suggests a similar rise of anaplasmosis is being seen across the country.
The article states that if you see a rash, get to your doctor. (Many never get a rash and are still infected)
I would state get to your doctor for ANY known tick-bite and request prophylactic treatment.
It is widely known and accepted that prompt diagnosis and treatment is crucial and if treatment is delayed, Anaplasmosis can cause severe illness involving:
- respiratory failure
- bleeding problems
- organ failure
Treatment for Anaplasmosis is doxycycline which has the advantage of treating numerous tick borne illnesses such as:
- Lyme (borrelia)
- Ehrlichia, Anaplasma
- Q Fever
- Rocky Mountain Spotted Fever
ILADS states the downside is that Doxy causes significant sun sensitization, can be hard on the stomach, and the usual dosing may not reach therapeutic levels.