Here in the Northeast we tend to think only of Lyme Disease because it is so prevalent in our area. But did you know that as of February 2014, there are currently 14 tick diseases in the U.S. recognized by the Center for Disease Control and Prevention?
Unfortunately, there are a few of us here at Swazy & Alexander who can speak from personal experience on the subject. Here’s what we think ….
- You don’t need to have “typical” symptoms to be sick.
- Tests come back with false reading very often; both false negatives and false positives.
- If you think you are sick, find a doctor who understands TICKS and their diseases!
- Relapses of sickness are part of the disease.
The following is a snapshot of the 14 current diseases:
AnaplasmosisAnaplasmosis is transmitted primarily by the Blacklegged variety in the Northeastern and upper mid-western U.S. and the Western Blacklegged along the Pacific coast.
BabesiosisBabesiosis is caused by microscopic parasites that infect red blood cells. Most human cases of babesiosis in the U.S. are caused by Babesia microti. Babesia microti is transmitted by theBlacklegged variety and is found primarily in the Northeast and upper Mid-west.
Borrelia miyamotoiThis disease has recently been discovered as a cause of illness in the U.S. It is transmitted by the Blacklegged and has a range similar to that of Lyme disease.
Colorado Tick Fever Is caused by a virus transmitted by the Rocky Mountain Wood variety. It occurs in the Rocky Mountain Region of the U.S. at elevations of 4,000 to 10,500 feet.
EhrlichiosisThis disease is transmitted by the Lone Star and is found primarily in the South-central and Eastern U.S.
Heartland virusThis virus has been identified in eight patients in Missouri and Tennessee as of March 2014. Studies suggest that the Lone Star may transmit the virus. It is unknown if the virus may be found in other areas of the U.S.
Lyme DiseaseHere’s the one we know so well! Lyme is transmitted by the Blacklegged in the North-eastern U.S. and Upper Mid-western U.S. and the Western Blacklegged along the Pacific coast.
Powassan diseaseIs transmitted by the Blacklegged and the Groundhog varieties. Cases have been reported primarily from Northeastern states and the Great Lakes region.
Rickettsia parkeri rickettsiosisThis disease is transmitted by the Gulf Coast variety.
Rocky Mountain spotted fever (RMSF)Is transmitted by the American Dog, the Rocky Mountain Wood, and the Brown Dog varieties in the U.S.
STARI (Southern tick-associated rash illness)Is transmitted by the Lone Star found in the South-eastern and Eastern U.S.
Tick-borne relapsing fever (TBRF)TBRF is bacterial infection characterized by recurring episodes of fever, headache, muscle and joint aches, and nausea. It is caused by certain species of Borrelia spirochetes. There are two types of relapsing fever:
- Tick-borne relapsing fever (TBRF)
- Louse-borne relapsing fever (LBRF)
TBRF relapsing fever occurs in the western United States and is usually linked to sleeping in rustic, rodent-infested cabins in mountainous areas. LBRF is transmitted by human body louse and is generally restricted to refugee settings in developing regions of the world. TBRF has been reported in 15 states: Arizona, California, Colorado, Idaho, Kansas, Montana, Nevada, New Mexico, Ohio, Oklahoma, Oregon, Texas, Utah, Washington, and Wyoming.
TularemiaIs transmitted by the Dog, the Wood and the Lone Star varieties. Tularemia occurs throughout the U.S.
364D rickettsiosis (Rickettsia phillipi, proposed)is transmitted by the Pacific Coast variety. This is a new disease that has been found in California.