List of Tick-Borne Diseasesby Crysta Hammond
Ticks are notoriously famous for causing Lyme Disease, but what if we tell you that these bloodsuckers can also transmit several other debilitating diseases? There are 4 to 5 major tick-borne illnesses, but ticks are vectors known to carry more than 18 diseases.
These eight-legged parasites are vectors of serious diseases that cause serious medical conditions. Here are the commonly occurring ones.
Alpha Gal Allergies
It is a syndrome triggered when Alpha-gal sugar molecules are introduced by ticks into the body. People are left with red meat allergies after this immune reaction.
It is an infection caused by the bacteria Anaplasma phagocytophilum. It is present in the US. Symptoms include high fevers and a diffuse rash all over the body.
It is an infection caused by the bacteria Babesia. It is present in the US. Symptoms include severe fatigue and rash where the tick has bitten.
Borrelia Mayonii Infection
The symptoms of this infection are similar to Lyme Disease as the causal agent is also from the same genus. Still, additional symptoms include nausea, vomiting, widespread rashes, and a higher concentration of bacteria in the blood.
Borrelia Miyamotoi Infection
It is caused by Borrelia miyamotoi bacteria, and cases have been reported in the US. Symptoms include fever, chills, headache, and uncommon rash.
Bourbon Virus Infection
It is caused by the Bourbon virus, and it is found in limited areas of the US. Infection symptoms include fever, rash, tiredness, body aches & headache, low blood cell count, nausea, and vomiting.
Colorado Tick Fever
It is caused by Coltivirus and spread by the Rocky Mountain Wood Tick found in the Western US and Western Canada. Symptoms include fever, chills, head & body aches, tiredness, skin rash, sore throat, vomiting, or abdominal pain. There are no vaccines or medicines to prevent or treat it.
The vector is the Lone Star Tick which transmits Ehrlichia bacteria. Cases have been reported in the US. Symptoms include fever, chills, headache, muscle aches, and an upset stomach. For some people, the symptoms are mild and go away on their own, but it can prove fatal for some.
Heartland Virus Infection
Symptoms of this virus infection consist of fever, fatigue, headache, nausea, decreased appetite, diarrhea, muscle or joint pain, & sometimes lower than average counts of white blood cells and platelets. It is found in the US.
Helvetica Spotted Fever
It is caused by a species of Rickettsia Bacteria. It can be found in European regions like Sweden, Switzerland, France, and Laos. Symptoms include small red spots, fever, muscle pain, headache, and respiratory problems.
It is the most common disease caused by ticks because of 20 collective Borrelia species known as Borrelia burgdorferi sensu lato. The symptoms include fever, fatigue, neuroborreliosis, arthritis, cranial nerve palsy, erythema migraines, carditis, and influenza-like illness.
It is a rare disease but is fatal and highly transmissible. Powassan virus can be transmitted in a matter of minutes, and it causes swelling of the brain, membranes around it, and spinal cord. Cases of Powassan disease have been reported in the US.
It is caused by the bacteria Coxiella burnetii. About 5 out of 10 people infected with this bacterium get sick. Symptoms include fever, chills or sweats, fatigue, cough, headache, muscle aches, nausea, vomiting or diarrhea, chest & stomach pain, and weight loss.
It is also caused by Borrelia species but is different from those that cause Lyme Disease. It is present in some regions of Canada and the Western United States. Symptoms include high fevers, headaches, and muscular pain. Rigors, sore throat, cough, painful urination, and rash are less heard symptoms.
Rocky Mountain Spotted Fever (RMSF)
It is caused by Rickettsia Bacteria and is present in the US and Brazil. Symptoms include fever, headache, altered mental status, myalgia, and rash. It is a serious disease that can be fatal if left untreated.
STARI (Southern Tick-Associated Rash Illness)
The pathogen for this illness is currently unknown. The symptoms are the same as Lyme Disease, but the vector and the pathogen are different.
It is the only tick-borne illness not caused by a pathogen, and it is because of a neurotoxin secreted by the salivary glands of a tick. The symptoms start with weakness in both legs that ascends to the abdomen, arms, and head; eventually, paralysis. Within hours, patients can experience severe respiratory distress, leading to death.
Ticks are also the vector of this bacterial infection caused by Francisella tularensis. Symptoms include skin ulcer, fever, or swollen glands. All of the above are severe debilitating diseases and shouldn't be taken lightly.