Disclaimer: The foregoing information is for educational purposes only. It is not intended to replace or supersede patient care by a healthcare provider. If an individual suspects the presence of a tick-borne illness, that individual should consult a healthcare provider who is familiar with the diagnosis and treatment of tick-borne diseases.

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Other Co-Infections

 

Colorado Tick Fever

 

Colorado tick fever is caused by a virus carried by Rocky Mountain wood ticks. Symptoms are acute high fever, severe headache, chills, fatigue, and muscle pain.

 

 

Mycoplasma

Mycoplasma species have been identified in ticks. Smaller than bacteria, they invade human cells and disrupt the immune system, causing fatigue, musculoskeletal symptoms, and cognitive problems. Mycoplasmas can be treated with antibiotics.

 

 

 

Powassan Virus

 

Powassan virus causes tick-borne encephalitis. Patients may be asymptomatic or suffer severe neurologic compromise and death. Common symptoms may include fever, headache, vomiting, weakness, confusion, seizures, and memory loss. Long-term neurologic problems may occur. There are no commercial diagnostic tests for the disease, nor is there specific treatment. However, patients may need to be hospitalized to receive care to reduce swelling in the brain or for respiratory support.

 

 

 

Q Fever

 

Q fever is caused by Coxiella burnetii, a kind of bacteria carried by cattle, sheep, and goats. Symptoms are similar to those of Lyme disease. Q fever is likely to start with a high fever. Pneumonia and abnormal liver function also suggest Q fever. Doxycycline is the treatment of choice.

 

 

 

Tick Paralysis

Certain ticks secrete a toxin that causes a progressive paralysis, which is reversed when the tick is removed.

 

 

 

Tick Relapsing fever

 

The agent of tickborne relapsing fever, Borrelia hermsii, is carried by soft ticks of the western United States. It is characterized by cycles of high fever and is treated with antibiotics.

 

 

 

Tularemia

 

Tularemia, or rabbit fever, occurs throughout the United States. It is caused by the bacterium Francisella tularensis. Symptoms may include skin ulcers, swollen and painful lymph glands, inflamed eyes, sore throat, mouth sores, pneumonia, diarrhea and vomiting. The most effective treatment is with fluoroquinolones.

 

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