Ehrlichiosis is a bacterial illness transmitted by ticks that causes flu-like symptoms. Ehrlichiosis is an infection of white blood cells that affects various mammals, including mice, cattle, dogs, deer, horses, sheep, goats, and humans. Ehrlichia and Anaplasma species, members of the family Rickettsiae, are gram-negative, obligate, intracellular coccobacilli that resemble Rickettsia species gain access to the blood via a bite from an infected tick. Thereby causing the disease.
The symptoms usually occurs from 7-14 days after the tick bite and are mild fever, headache, chills, muscle aches, nausea, vomiting etc.
Diagnosis and Treatment
Tick-borne infections are difficult to diagnose based solely on signs and symptoms because the signs and symptoms, such as fever and muscle aches, are similar to many other common conditions. Abnormal findings on a number of blood tests, combined with your history of possible exposure, may lead the doctor to suspect a tick-borne illness such as low W.B.C count etc.Also PCR test and IFA test are performed to diagnose the disease.
The distribution of ehrlichiosis in the United States mirrors the tick distribution and appropriate mammalian vectors. Ehrlichiosis is a seasonal disease observed mainly from April to September. In 1999, ehrlichiosis became reportable to the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). In 2005, 786 cases of human granulocytic anaplasmosis (HGA) were reported.