Anaplasmosis is a tickborne disease caused by the bacterium Anaplasma phagocytophilum which is transmitted to humans by the bite of an infected tick, contaminated needles, dehorning equipment, castrating knives, tattoo instruments, biting flies and mosquitoes. It was previously known as human granulocytic ehrlichiosis (HGE).
The signs and symptoms of human anaplasmosis are Fever, Severe headache, Muscle aches, Chills and shaking, nausea, vomiting, loss of appetite, weight loss, abdominal pain, cough, diarrhea, aching joints and change in mental status. it tends to be most severe in the aging or immune-compromised. Severe complications can include respiratory failure, renal failure and secondary infections.
If human anaplasmosis is suspected, see your doctor immediately. Early diagnosis and treatment can reduce the time a person is ill and the severity of the disease. Human anaplasmosis is treated with antibiotics. In 2014, 448 confirmed or probable cases of anaplasmosis (8.3 cases per 100,000 population) were reported, down from the 627 cases reported in 2013. Despite these occasional decreases in reported cases, the overall trend is an increase in yearly case totals over time.
Two hundred ninety-two (65%) cases reported in 2014 were male. The median age of cases was 59 years (range, 3 to 87 years), 20 years older than the median age of Lyme disease cases. As is typical, most cases had illness onsets during the summer months, with 58% of cases reporting illness onsets in June and July. In 2014, 124 (28%) anaplasmosis cases were hospitalized at some point for their infection, with a median duration of 4 days (range, 2 to 17 days).