Ehrlichiosis is an infection passed through a tick bite. It can be deadly unless medicine is taken to treat it.
Ehrlichiosis is caused by specific bacteria. The bacteria are passed through the bite of a tick. The lonestar tick, deer tick, and dog tick are linked with this infection.
Things that may raise the risk of this infection are:
- Being in areas known to have ticks
- Spending time in the Mid-Atlantic, Southeastern, and South central United States
- Having a weakened immune system
It may take 1 to 2 weeks for symptoms to happen. The first symptoms are like the flu:
- Muscle and joint aches
Some people may also have a rash.
You will be asked about your symptoms and health history. You will be asked if you have spent time in areas known for ticks. A physical exam will be done.
A blood test may be done to check for signs of ehrlichiosis.
To lower the chance of this infection:
- Avoid tick-infested areas.
- Wear light-colored clothing to better locate a crawling tick.
- Tuck pants into socks when in tick-infested habitats.
- Regularly inspect and remove ticks from the body when in tick-infested habitats.
- Remove ticks using fine-tipped tweezers by grasping the tick close to the skin’s surface and pulling upward steadily.
- Disinfect tick bites with soap and water.
- Use tick repellents.
- Reviewer: EBSCO Medical Review Board James P. Cornell, MD
- Review Date: 09/2019 -
- Update Date: 11/25/2019 -