Spring of 2017 marked the beginning of the year’s tick season which was predicted to be one of the worst yet. Along with the prediction of massive quantities of ticks, came the prediction that Lyme disease cases would also be on the rise this year. When ticks are plentiful and Lyme disease cases are on the rise, so are cases of other tick-borne diseases. Diseases like Anaplasmosis, Babesiosis, Powassan, and Ehrlichiosis.
One such case took a Massachusetts man by surprise this year when he faced a high fever, the worst headache of his life, complete exhaustion, and a disoriented “foggy” feeling. Rather than wait out what he thought was bronchitis he decided to see his doctor since it came on so swiftly. Luckily for him, his doctor considered the rare tick-borne disease, anaplasmosis.
A bacteria spread by the bite of an infected tick, (black-legged or deer ticks in our area) anaplasmosis can cause flu-like symptoms such as a fever, headache, muscle pain, depression, chills, nausea, cough, confusion, and sometimes a rash. Severe cases may cause difficulty breathing, hemorrhage, renal failure and neurological problems. The CDC reports that less than 1% of patients die from anaplasmosis. Those most at risk are above the age of 60 or do not receive treatment quickly. A course of antibiotics usually leads to quick recovery, but those with severe cases may require IV antibiotics.
While public awareness of Lyme disease in Massachusetts is high, it is vital for us to become more aware of the rarer tick-borne diseases so we can seek treatment immediately. If you ever have flu-like symptoms after being in the outdoors, see a doctor, and mention your exposure to ticks. Even if that exposure was a month ago, mention it.
In the meantime, avoiding tick bites is the best way to avoid tick-borne disease. You can do that, while still having a life, by following our tick safety guide, the Cs of tick control for your yard and with tick treatment for your property. At Mosquito Squad of Central Massachusetts, we can eliminate up to 90% of ticks on your property with our tick treatment and tick tubes. Call today at (978) 381-4028.
Don’t forget, ticks are out now, the warm wet climate is allowing them to stay out well into Fall and even winter if there is no snow to bury them.