Navigation Links
New Tick-Borne Illness Infects Midwesterners
Date:8/4/2011

By Steven Reinberg
HealthDay Reporter

WEDNESDAY, Aug. 3 (HealthDay News) -- First they spread Lyme disease, and then babesiosis. Now, deer ticks carrying a newly identified bacterium are infecting residents of the midwestern United States with a disease called ehrlichiosis, and experts say it will likely appear in other areas of the country.

The still unnamed bacterium, which causes fever, body aches and fatigue, has been identified in 25 people in Minnesota and Wisconsin, but has probably infected many more, researchers said in a new study.

"So far we have tested thousands of patients from around the United States, and we have only found it in the blood of patients from Wisconsin and Minnesota," said lead researcher Dr. Bobbi Pritt, director of the Clinical Parasitology and Virology Laboratories at the Mayo Clinic in Rochester, Minn.

"We have also found it in ticks. Specifically, in the ticks called Ixodes scapularis, also known as the deer tick," she said. "That's the same little tick that transmits a number of really serious diseases -- Lyme disease, anaplasmosis and babesiosis," she added.

"Ehrlichiosis is an emerging disease. Its range is expanding throughout the United States," she said. The bacterium, first identified in 2009, was initially confined to a small area in Minnesota, but now is seen throughout the state and in Wisconsin, Pritt explained.

Lyme disease, once confined to Connecticut, is now a problem throughout the country, Pritt noted.

Ehrlichiosis kills white blood cells, causing a feverish illness. Severe cases can involve the lungs, kidneys and brain, and require hospitalization, but rarely result in death, the researchers said in their report, published Aug. 4 in the New England Journal of Medicine.

In the study, Pritt's team describes four cases of ehrlichiosis. All four patients recovered after treatment with the antibiotic doxycycline, which is also used to treat Lyme disease. The most severe case of ehrlichiosis occurred in a patient who had had a double lung transplant and needed to be hospitalized for a short time.

Those most at risk for serious cases of ehrlichiosis have compromised or suppressed immune systems, Pritt said.

The best way to prevent ehrlichiosis and other tick-borne illnesses is to protect yourself from deer-tick bites, which are most likely to occur in wooded or grassy areas. "Use caution when going outside, use insect repellent and wear long pants, long sleeves, and check yourself for ticks," Pritt said. "Also, try to stay out of long grasses and shrubs."

Doctors might not know to check for ehrlichiosis, Pritt added. The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has developed a specific antibody test for the new bacterium, but until it is widely available the study authors suggested doctors use a molecular blood test that detects Ehrlichia DNA in patients who show symptoms.

Genetically, the bacterium is similar to another bacterium -- E. muris -- that infects small rodents and deer in Eastern Europe, but rarely humans. It has not been reported in North America, Pritt noted.

Infectious disease expert Dr. Marc Siegel, an associate professor of medicine at New York University in New York City, said the report "is testament to the fact that we have more and more ticks, more and more tick-borne illnesses."

This is also a reminder to doctors that ticks spread diseases other than Lyme, Siegel said.

"So long as there are a growing number of ticks, new bacteria are likely to emerge," Siegel added. "Moreover, these diseases are likely to spread around the country."

More information

For more information on tick-borne diseases, visit the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

SOURCES: Bobbi Pritt, M.D., director, Clinical Parasitology and Virology Laboratories, Mayo Clinic, Rochester, Minn.; Marc Siegel, M.D., associate professor, medicine, New York University, New York City, and author, The Inner Pulse: Unlocking the Secret Code for Sickness and Health; Aug. 4, 2011, New England Journal of Medicine


'/>"/>
Copyright©2010 ScoutNews,LLC.
All rights reserved  

Related medicine news :

1. Young patients with chronic illnesses find relief in acupuncture
2. New Diagnostic Guidelines for Mental Illnesses Proposed
3. “Hearts and Minds” Education Program Launched: On Average, People with Mental illness Live 25 Years Less than Other Americans
4. Exercise Can Quiet Anxiety That Comes With Illness
5. Guardian Offers Critical Illness Insurance Advice
6. Foodborne Illness Costs U.S. $152 Billion Annually, Landmark Report Estimates
7. Food-borne Illnesses in U.S. Cost $152B Annually
8. The Pentagon Tragedy: Mental Illness, Violence and What Reporters Should Ask
9. Children with chronic respiratory illness are vulnerable to critical H1N1
10. Massive Food Flavoring Recall Underscores Need for New Tracking Technology to Contain Outbreaks of Foodborne Illness
11. Hearts and Minds Promotes Wellness; African Americans Living with Mental Illness Have Higher Risk for Other Illnesses.
Post Your Comments:
*Name:
*Comment:
*Email:
Related Image:
New Tick-Borne Illness Infects Midwesterners
(Date:2/22/2017)... ... February 22, 2017 , ... When it came time to ... in Georgia, PENETRON Specialty Products (PSP) provided the solution. January’s grand opening presented ... $51 million to purchase and renovate the 185,000 square-foot office complex, which was ...
(Date:2/22/2017)... ... February 22, 2017 , ... Gevir, a New Zealand-based company that focuses on ... are coming soon to Amazon.com, the world’s largest online retailer. , The ... develop an effective natural treatment for Shelley’s Multiple Sclerosis, which she’d been diagnosed with ...
(Date:2/22/2017)... ... February 22, 2017 , ... The Waismann Method® ... of individuals who have recently fallen victim to America’s opioid epidemic. Now, opiate dependent ... California, where they are free from the shame, stigma, and harmful labeling ...
(Date:2/22/2017)... ... February 22, 2017 , ... The National ... requirements effective with the April 2017 testing period. NACCM, a nonprofit organization, has ... Manager Certified (CMC) exam is periodically re-calibrated to ensure that newly certified professionals ...
(Date:2/22/2017)... ... February 22, 2017 , ... Giving patients ... trips the emergency room, fewer hospital admissions, and better blood pressure and glycemic ... (AJMC®) finds. The study can be found here . , The study ...
Breaking Medicine News(10 mins):
(Date:2/23/2017)... 23, 2017 Obese people are ... for varicose veins in their body. The rising number ... the adoption of endovenous laser therapy for treatment of ... laser therapy market, published by Future Market Insights, ... and consequences of obesity have collectively factored the growth ...
(Date:2/23/2017)... ... Markets has announced the addition of the "Global Antifungal Drugs Market ... offering. The Global Antifungal Drugs Market is poised to ... reach approximately $12.8 billion by 2025. This industry ... on global as well as regional levels presented in the research scope. ...
(Date:2/23/2017)... 2017 Persistence Market Research ... market for intraoperative imaging, excerpts from which predict ... 513.9 million. According to the report, the demand ... grounds of increasing adoption of minimally-invasive surgeries and ... imaging for neurosurgeries. The world,s leading medical research ...
Breaking Medicine Technology: