Ehrlichiosis is a bacterial illness transmitted by ticks that causes flu-like symptoms. The signs and symptoms of ehrlichiosis range from mild body aches to severe fever and usually appear within a week or two of a tick bite. Ehrlichiosis is a tickborne bacterial infection, caused by bacteria of the family Anaplasmataceae, genera Ehrlichia and Anaplasma. These obligate intracellular bacteria infect and kill white blood cells.
Symptoms: Symptoms may seem like the flu (influenza), and may include: Chills. Fever. Headache. Muscle aches. Nausea.
Diagnosis: The diagnosis of ehrlichiosis must be made based on clinical signs and symptoms, and can later be confirmed using specialized confirmatory laboratory tests.
Treatment should never be delayed pending the receipt of laboratory test results, or be withheld on the basis of an initial negative laboratory result. Physician Diagnosis and Laboratory detection.
Treament: Doxycycline is the first line treatment for adults and children of all ages and should be initiated immediately whenever ehrlichiosis is suspected. Use of antibiotics other than doxycycline and other tetracyclines is associated with a higher risk of fatal outcome for some rickettsial infections. Recommended Dosage Doxycycline is the first line treatment for adults and children of all ages: Adults: 100 mg every 12 hours. Children under 45 kg (100 lbs): 2.2 mg/kg body weight given twice a day.
Epidemology: Ehrlichiosis was first recognized as a disease in the United States in the late 1980?s, but did not become a reportable disease until 1999. The Arkansas Department of Health conducts surveillance and investigates cases of Ehrlichiosis reported in Arkansas. Ehrlichiosis is the second most prevalent tickborne disease in Arkansas, and is found statewide. Ehrlichiosis has been found year round in Arkansas with disease peaking from April to September.