WA man hospitalized with tick-borne disease. Here’s how to keep yourself safe
The first local human case of anaplasmosis, a tick-borne disease, was reported this month in Washington state.
The case was discovered on Aug. 8 after a Whatcom County man in his 80s was hospitalized with severe disease after working in the brush in Mason County, according to the Washington State Department of Health. The man, likely bitten by an infected tick, is recovering.
While human cases of anaplasmosis have been identified in the state before, this is the first case that did not involve travel outside of Washington. There have been cases of dogs diagnosed with anaplasmosis after being bit within the state, DOH said.
In humans, symptoms include fever, headache, muscle aches and nausea and typically begin within one to two weeks of a tick bite. There is no vaccine to prevent the disease, which is treatable with antibiotics, according to DOH.
The disease is spread by the western blacklegged tick, which is found in the western parts of the state and along the eastern slopes of the Cascades.
“Not all tick bites will cause disease,” said Washington state epidemiologist Scott Lindquist in a news release. “However, people across Washington are at risk for tick-borne illnesses and should take precautions to prevent tick bites.”
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