While Lyme disease is the most common disease spread by ticks in New York, there are other serious tick-borne diseases that families and pet owners should be aware of, including a tick-borne Powassan virus that recently killed a resident in the Hudson Valley in 2019. Here are some other serious diseases and illnesses that ticks can spread to humans and pets:
Anaplasmosis is caused by the Anaplasma phagocytophilum bacteria. This disease is transmitted to humans by tick bites from the black-legged tick (or deer tick). Typical symptoms usually occur within 1-2 weeks of a tick bite. Symptoms of Anaplasmosis include fever, headache, chills, nausea, cough, and muscle aches. This illness can be fatal if not treated correctly. Sever symptoms can include difficulty breathing, hemorrhage, renal failure, or neurological issues. Doxycycline is the first line of treatment for people suffering from Anaplasmosis.
This bacterial disease effects both animals and humans. A bite from a lone star tick is the primary source of infection for people and animals. The bacteria infects the white blood cells and circulate within the blood stream. For this reason, it is important that individuals effected by the disease do not donate blood or organs while infected. Typical symptoms include fever, headache, fatigue, nausea, red eyes, and muscle aches. If left untreated, Ehrlichisosis can develop serious symptoms such as difficulty breathing or bleeding disorders. The illness has proven fatal in some cases of untreated individuals. Doxycycline has proven effective in the treatment of Ehrlichisosis.
This is a rare disease caused by various types of microscopic parasites. The disease infects red blood cells and is transmitted from the bite of an infected deer tick. Since the bacteria infects red blood cells, it is important for effected individuals to refrain from donating blood or organs while infected. Symptoms can take anywhere from one to eight weeks to appear. Common symptoms of babesiosis include: fever, chills, sweats, headache, loss of appetite, body aches, fatigue, and hemolytic anemia. More severe symptoms can include low or unstable blood pressure, severe hemolytic anemia, very low platelet count, blood clots and bleeding, malfunction of vital organs, or in some cases death.
Rocky Mountain Spotted Fever
Rocky Mountain Spotted Fever is a rare disease caused by the bite of a deer tick infected with the rickettsia microbe. Fewer than 50 cases are reported each year in New York State. Children are infected the most frequently. Symptoms of RMSF include a sudden onset of moderate to high fever, severe headache, fatigue, abdominal pain, lack of appetite, deep muscle pain, chills, and rash. The rash will develop on the legs or arms and may spread rapidly to the rest of the body. Those infected with Rocky Mountain Spotted Fever will typically notice symptoms within the first 2 weeks of getting bitten. This is a serious illness that can be fatal in the first eight days of symptoms if not treated correctly. Treatment includes utilizing certain antibiotics such as tetracycline or chloramphenicol.
Protect Your Family From Tick Borne Diseases
The best prevention for contracting tick borne diseases is to limit your exposure of ticks. If your home is located near a wooded area or has tall vegetation on the property your yard may be a large risk. In order to protect your family and pets it is best to contact a pest control professional and implement a tick control program. OPC Pest Control offers effective, all natural tick control services starting at only $395. Learn more about our tick prevention program here.