Many people are familiar with the most common tick-borne disease: Lyme, but another has been on the rise: anaplasmosis.
Anaplasmosis was first found in humans in the mid-1990s. States started to report cases in 1999 and ever since then it has been on a steady increase. While the numbers still remain relatively low nationwide, it’s becoming more common in states with large black-legged tick populations.
Anaplasmosis is transmitted through the bite of an infected black-legged or deer tick. While the symptoms are flulike with the most common being fever, chills and headaches, it actually affects the body’s white blood cells and can be quite dangerous. White blood cells help combat illness in the body, so if the number is decreased, the body can’t fight other infections.
David Letterman, host of The Late Show, suffered from anaplasmosis in 2009 after being bitten by a tick while spending the night outside. He told his audience that it made him feel worse than the heart surgery he had in past.
When diagnosed, anaplasmosis is treated with antibiotics, but one of every 200 cases is fatal.
As spring returns and temperatures rise, we all like to spend more time outdoors. Ticks will become quite active again soon, which means we need increase our awareness and vigilance.
Mosquito Squad offers tick control services for the home through our barrier spray and tick tube applications. For anyone who is spending time outdoors, especially in areas where ticks are known to live, please use these tips:
- Wear long-sleeved shirts and pants. Lighter colored clothing will make it easier to see the ticks
- Conduct a full body check after coming indoors. Use a mirror or ask someone to help check those hard to see areas
- Place clothes in the dryer, on high heat to eliminate any ticks that remain on your clothing.
- Promptly remove any ticks that have attached to you using tweezers.
If you have questions regarding tick control, please contact your local Mosquito Squad office.