Printer Friendly

Getting ticked off.


An infectious process once thought to be found only in dogs is being carried to humans by the infamous tick. Ehrlichiosis is a rickettsial infection first found in humans in 1986. The symptoms of the disease resemble those of Lyme disease or Rocky Mountain spotted fever.

"The red flag should go up for ehrlichiosis whenever someone who has been exposed to ticks has a febrile [feverish] illness, but not erythema migrans, the rash characteristic of Lyme disease," says Dr. Lyle R. Petersen of the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) in Atlanta. Dr. John R. Harkess, Oklahoma State Department of Health assistant state epidemiologist, adds, "Many people with a high fever show up in the emergency department and are presumed to have Rocky Mountain spotted fever, although they often don't have the characteristic rash."

It is now better understood that if a person's blood count demonstrates a low white count and a low platelet count without a rash, the offending organism is the Ehrlichia canis rather than the organisms causing the other two tick-borne diseases. Fortunately, treatment for the disease is relatively simple; tetracycline appears to treat ehrlichiosis as well as it does early Lyme disease or Rocky Mountain spotted fever.
COPYRIGHT 1989 Benjamin Franklin Literary & Medical Society, Inc.
No portion of this article can be reproduced without the express written permission from the copyright holder.
Copyright 1989 Gale, Cengage Learning. All rights reserved.

Article Details
Printer friendly Cite/link Email Feedback
Title Annotation:ehrlichiosis infection
Publication:Medical Update
Date:Oct 1, 1989
Previous Article:Electric fans ano-blow during dog days.
Next Article:Sweet news: sugar may be O.K. for diabetics.

Related Articles
What is Lyme disease? How an you prevent it, and what do you do if you get it?
Tick, tick, tick, tick ... boom! The explosion of tick-borne diseases.
Evidence of Rickettsia helvetica Infection in Humans, Eastern France.
Naturally Occurring Ehrlichia chaffeensis Infection in Coyotes from Oklahoma.
Severe Ehrlichia chaffeensis infection in a lung transplant recipient: a review of ehrlichiosis in the immunocompromised patient. (Dispatches).
Hypersensitivity to ticks and lyme disease risk.
Tickborne pathogen detection, Western Siberia, Russia.
Human granulocytic anaplasmosis and Anaplasma phagocytophilum.
Anaplasma phagocytophilum infection in Ixodes ricinus, Bavaria, Germany.
Anaplasma phagocytophilum infection in small mammal hosts of Ixodes ticks, Western United States.

Terms of use | Privacy policy | Copyright © 2018 Farlex, Inc. | Feedback | For webmasters