Items in AFP with MESH term: Tick-Borne Diseases

Tick-borne Diseases - Article

ABSTRACT: Tick-borne diseases are the most common vector-borne illnesses in the United States. Lyme disease is the most common, but several others also occur. The ehrlichioses have only been identified as agents of human disease in the United States in the past few decades, and knowledge about them is still evolving. Rocky Mountain spotted fever is relatively common and can be severe, especially in children, if the diagnosis is not made quickly. Tularemia has long been known to cause disease in humans, but there is renewed interest because of its potential as a biologic warfare agent. These diseases can be severe or even fatal. Most of them are easily treatable when identified early. These diseases result from a variety of infectious agents including bacteria, rickettsia, viruses and protozoa, or they may be caused by substances produced by the tick. Most of these diseases present initially with nonspecific symptoms and are often difficult to recognize. Few definitive diagnostic tests are available. Therefore, knowledge of the epidemiology and common presentations, as well as the diagnostic options and treatments available, are important issues for family physicians.


Tick-Borne Disease - Article

ABSTRACT: Tick-borne diseases in the United States include Rocky Mountain spotted fever, Lyme disease, ehrlichiosis, tularemia, babesiosis, Colorado tick fever, and relapsing fever. It is important for family physicians to consider these illnesses when patients present with influenza-like symptoms. A petechial rash initially affecting the palms and soles of the feet is associated with Rocky Mountain spotted fever, whereas erythema migrans (annular macule with central clearing) is associated with Lyme disease. Various other rashes or skin lesions accompanied by fever and influenza-like illness also may signal the presence of a tick-borne disease. Early, accurate diagnosis allows treatment that may help prevent significant morbidity and possible mortality. Because 24 to 48 hours of attachment to the host are required for infection to occur, early removal can help prevent disease. Treatment with doxycycline or tetracycline is indicated for Rocky Mountain spotted fever, Lyme disease, ehrlichiosis, and relapsing fever. In patients with clinical findings suggestive of tick-borne disease, treatment should not be delayed for laboratory confirmation. If no symptoms follow exposure to tick bites, empiric treatment is not indicated. The same tick may harbor different infectious pathogens and transmit several with one bite. Advising patients about prevention of tick bites, especially in the summer months, may help prevent exposure to dangerous vector-borne diseases.



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