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Ticks Can Give Us Several Other Illnesses
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PostPosted: Thu Jul 13, 2006 6:49 pm    Post subject: Ticks Can Give Us Several Other Illnesses Reply with quote

Ticks Can Give Us Several Other Illnesses

Posted by the Asbury Park Press on 07/11/06

Lyme disease isn't the only illness transmitted by ticks, warns Dr.
John Patterson, an infectious disease specialist and medical director
of the Burlington County Health Department.
"There is at least a general awareness of Lyme disease, but there are
some other (tick-related) illnesses people don't think about,"
Patterson says.

The malarialike illness babesiosis, as well as ehrlichiosis and Rocky
Mountain spotted fever are among those illnesses. Unlike Lyme disease,
ticks don't have to be attached for an extended period of time to
transmit these conditions. But, you're also likely to see symptoms of
these illnesses much quicker.

Here's what to look for:

Babesiosis is caused by a protozoa transmitted by ticks. Similar to
malaria, the infection destroys healthy red blood cells. Symptoms
include fever, chills, fatigue, headache, muscle pain and anemia. Most
people will recover from babesiosis within two weeks, but the disease
can be fatal for the elderly, people with compromised immune systems
and those who've had their spleen removed.

Caught early, babesiosis can be treated using a variety of
anti-protozoa drugs taken for a 10- to 30-day period. Late stage
treatment requires blood transfusions.

Ehrlichiosis is by a tick-transmitted bacteria, which attacks red and
white blood cells. Symptoms include fever, malaise, headaches, chills,
muscle aches, vomiting, anemia, lung infection, decreased white blood
cells and platelets, seizures and meningitis. The disease can be fatal
to anyone of any age if not treated in a timely fashion. The condition
responds well to treatment with the antibiotic doxycycline.

Rocky Mountain spotted fever (Ricketsia) is caused by a parasite
transmitted by a tick bite. Symptoms are similar to ehrlichiosis, but
also include a characteristic rash that looks like bleeding under the
skin. It typically begins on wrists, ankles, palms and soles. Rocky
Mountain spotted fever can also be deadly if not properly treated.
Doctors typically prescribe tetracycline to treat the illness.
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