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Sunday, April 19, 2015

Is Lyme Disease the Only Tick-Borne Illness?

Posted By: Advancing Care

Is Lyme Disease the only tick-borne illness?

We all know that deer-tick bites can lead to Lyme Disease, and we know to be on the lookout for the bullseye-shaped red rash, joint pain and fatigue that goes with it. But Lyme Disease isn’t the only tick-borne illness common in this part of the country.

Harish Moorjani, MD, an Infectious Disease specialist at Westchester Medical Center, warns about other tick-related illnesses: babesiosis, a malaria-like infection is associated with high fever, anemia and low platelet counts; human granulocytic anaplasmosis or HGA is a bacterial tick-borne infection associated with fever, headache, a low white blood-cell count and a low platelet count; and the Powassan virus, which is seen with fever and a brain infection with meningitis or encephalitis. “These tick-borne infections can often occur in people who had a potential tick exposure, but no tick bite that they noticed,” Dr. Moorjani notes. “Some of the symptoms are easily misunderstood by the patient, so many people that contract a tick-borne illness and show symptoms don’t immediately associate them with a tick bite.”