Confession: I never check for Ticks after undertaking a hike though I know I should. I usually flick through all the pictures I took to find the ideal Instagram shot instead of searching my body for blood-sucking creatures . But even if you're one of the people responsible for ticks after you've been out in the open, you're biting into Lyme disease, a disease that can be found in a deer tick (commonly called a black-legged tick) ,
It makes perfect sense to think of Lyme disease right away while you're tick-checking or even remotely thinking about ticks. According to estimates from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), there are approximately approximately 300,000 diagnosed cases of Lyme disease per year in the United States, making Lyme the most commonly diagnosed by ticks disease is transmitted in this country. So it's not a bad thing to have Lyme on the radar. And some ticks (such as deer ticks) can transmit multiple diseases. Even if you're looking for ticks just for Lyme, you can reduce the risk of being bitten by people with other illnesses.
The more you know about tick-borne diseases and where they are most common The more you can help your doctor analyze symptoms when needed. Here are some non-Lyme disease related illnesses that you should keep on your radar.
. 1 Babesiosis
If you live in the Northeast or the Upper Midwest (including places like New England, New York, or Wisconsin), we'll talk a bit about babesiosis. Like Lyme, this disease is transmitted by deer ticks in warm months, according to CDC . While Lyme disease is caused by bacteria called Borrelia burgdorferi babesiosis is caused by the Babesia parasite which infects red blood cells according to CDC . 19659010] According to CDC many people with babesiosis never show any symptoms. In this case, it is basically a harmless infection that normally requires no treatment. However, some people show flu-like symptoms such as loss of appetite, fever fatigue, body aches, headaches and nausea between one week and a few months after infection, which CDC says. It is also worth mentioning that the parasite babesia may cause a so-called hemolytic anemia, in which red blood cells are destroyed more quickly than your body can produce them. Mayo Clinic says. This can lead to additional symptoms such as shortness of breath, cold hands and feet and weakness. And if you're immunocompromised for any reason, babesiosis can be serious and even life-threatening, according to CDC .
If you have any symptoms, contact your doctor. "These tick-borne diseases are generally very difficult to diagnose because so many things cause fatigue and symptoms," said Seemay Chou, Ph.D., assistant professor at the Department of Biochemistry and Biophysics at the University of California. San Francisco, tells SELF. "It's really hard for a doctor to just think, 'This is Lyme' or 'This is Babesiosis'," says Chou, whose research examines the relationship between ticks and the various pathogens they carry.
To find out what's going on, your doctor may conduct blood tests to identify the Babesia parasite, according to the CDC . If you have babesiosis, your doctor may prescribe anti-parasite medicines according to CDC .
. 2 Rocky Mountain Spotted Fever
Rocky Mountain Spotted Fever (RMSF) occurs throughout the United States, but more than 60 percent of all reported cases occur in Tennessee, North Carolina, Oklahoma, Arkansas and Missouri, according to CDC . . Falls are also rising in Arizona. Wherever you are, RMSF is most commonly transmitted in the summer months (admittedly, these ticks are equals that people can bite in warmer parts of the country in other warm seasons or even in winter). CDC says.
The type of tick most likely to carry this disease depends on your region; For example, if you are in the eastern United States, this is probably the American dog tick, according to the CDC . If you're in a state that's home to the Rocky Mountains, you probably will not be surprised to hear that the Rocky Mountain log is usually the cause of the disease being bitten. Of course, the fever is great, along with things like headache nausea and vomiting, abdominal pain, muscle aches and a waning appetite, according to the CDC . These symptoms are quite nebulous and may be suitable for so many disorders, but there is a typical RMSF sign to keep in mind: Two to four days after the onset of your body temperature rise, you may develop a marked rash, such as red spots or resembles dots, says the CDC . (About 10 percent of people with RMSF do not develop such a rash.) If you notice this rash or think you have other symptoms that may indicate RMSF, contact a doctor as soon as possible. This disease can become severe or even life-threatening five days after infection, according to CDC . At this time, there is a risk of complications such as coma, brain swelling, coma and significant breathing difficulties.
That's scary to read, of course, but doctors can treat RMSF with antibiotics, according to CDC . It is crucial to get these medicines as soon as possible.
. 3 Borrelia miyamotoi Disease
If you are an outdoor fan and you live or holiday in the upper Midwest, Northeast or Mid-Atlantic state, you might want to see symptoms for  Borrelia miyamotoi  Disease Suffering CDC . July and August are major months for the Borrelia miyamotoi infection. Experts see it as "a sort of cousin of Lyme disease," as this notorious deer tick can cause both conditions, Shannon Delaney, MD, assistant professor of psychiatry at Irving Medical Center of Columbia University and director of Child and Adolescent Evaluation The Lyme & Tick-Borne Disease Research Center says SELF.
Unlike Lyme Disease and some of the other tick-borne diseases on this list, Borrelia miyamotoi disease symptoms do not frequently show a rash, according to the CDC . Other typical signs of Borrelia miyamotoi disease include fever, chills, severe headaches, muscle and joint pains, and fatigue that can occur within days to weeks after infection. The absence of a rash may sound like a good thing. At least that's one less symptom to worry about, right? In fact, something as unusual as a rash is often what makes it clear to people that they need a doctor. Delaney. Otherwise, they may simply believe that these symptoms are due to something like cold or flu .
"If they do not have a rash … they do not think they have a tick-borne disease and they are not tested," Dr. Delaney. If you go to the doctor for testing, you can only treat something like the disease Borrelia miyamotoi .
To diagnose you Borrelia miyamotoi a doctor can evaluate your symptoms and conduct lab tests, such as: For example, look for specific antibodies in your system, it says in CDC . Although there is no definitive treatment regimen for this condition, it has been shown that the antibiotic doxycycline helps patients who have it, according to the CDC .
. 4 Powassan virus
The Powassan virus usually occurs in the Northeast and the Great Lakes regions of the US, however, according to the CDC there were cases in other parts of the country as well. The infection with this virus happens most often from late spring to mid-autumn, it is said in the CDC . (So there's a very disagreeable overlap with the likelihood that you're out in the wild.)
We suggest what kind of tick the Powassan virus spreads. If your answer is … drum roll … the deer sting, congratulations: you begin to realize how many diseases these creepy little guys can carry. In addition to the deer tick, the squirrel and marmot ticks can spread this disease, says the CDC .
One thing that makes the Powassan virus so worrying is how fast an infection can occur, says Chou. While it may take hours for a tick to infect someone with various other illnesses, infection with the Powassan virus can occur in just 15 minutes Chou says.
Many people with the Powassan virus do not actually have any symptoms, says the CDC in which case no treatment is necessary. According to CDC some people with Powassan virus may experience symptoms such as fever, weakness, headache, and vomiting for a week to a month after infection.
Unlike Some Other Types of Tick-borne Diseases The Powassan virus may enter a dangerous state that infects the brain or membranes surrounding the brain and spinal cord, CDC . Symptoms the illness has reached to this point can be seizures, confusion, and problems speaking and moving. In rare cases, this can lead to death, and when people survive, they can deal with long-term health effects such as memory problems, explains the CDC .
If a doctor suspects that you have Powassan virus, you may be conducting laboratory tests on your blood or spinal fluid, the CDC states. The thing is, there is no specific drug or method of treatment for the Powassan virus, as the CDC explains. If someone has a milder case, doctors usually try to treat the symptoms until the virus disappears. People with more serious medical conditions are usually hospitalized so that doctors can respond to complications such as brain swelling.
. 5 Colorado tick fever
Colorado tick fever is transmitted by the Rocky Mountain tick (yup, it's confusing). It is most prevalent in the western United States and western Canada, in areas that, according to the CDC are between 4,000 and 10,000 feet above sea level. Spring and summer are the most common infection times, according to the CDC . (Strangely enough, this virus can also be transmitted via a blood infusion or a bone marrow transplant, although this is truly rare.)
As with many other tick-borne diseases, the symptoms include – let's face it now – fatigue, nausea and chills, headaches, and Fever, it is said in the CDC . But for the latter: One of the more unique features of Colorado tick fever is the so-called "two-phase fever," which, according to CDC (19459004) (19459121) affects about half of those affected. This means that you may have a fever that disappears after a few days and only reappears a few days later for a shorter period of time. Basically, you think you're better, but it's really just your body that's playing a cruel trick on you. In rare cases, Colorado tick-borne fever can cause more severe symptoms if it affects the central nervous system, CDC explains. In this case, symptoms such as a stiff neck and confusion may occur. Even then, it is extremely rare that the Colorado tick fever is deadly.
A doctor may perform laboratory tests to detect Colorado tick fever, such as by scanning your blood for viruses, according to the CDC . According to CDC there is no treatment regimen for regular cases of illness. However, if you have a serious case, you may need to be hospitalized and given intravenous fluids and medications to relieve your symptoms.
This potentially serious disease, reported in all states except Hawaii, is due to Francisella tularensis bacteria, according to CDC . You can absorb these bacteria in a variety of ways. As it is on this list, ticks are clearly one of them – the dog tick, the wooden tick and the lonely star tick can transmit this disease according to the CDC . But it can also be obtained through contact with various animals, from wild rabbits to domestic cats such as the CDC . In addition, tularaemia infection by inhalation of substances such as dust, which contains Francisella tularensis bacteria, may occur as in gardening.
Because tularemia can be transmitted in so many different ways, it can manifest itself in a heap in several ways. However, if you suffer from this condition you may experience symptoms such as fever, chills, headache, tiredness, cough, sore throat, vomiting, diarrhea and abdominal pain, according to the CDC . In the most common form of this disease called ulceroglandular tularemia, according to the CDC you may develop swollen lymph nodes as well as skin ulcers at the site of your body where you have become infected with your armpits or groin.
The CDC states that tularemia can be diagnosed by laboratory tests to identify the bacteria, and antibiotics, including doxycycline, can be an effective treatment.
7 and 8. Anaplasmosis and Ehrlichiosis
Although anaplasmosis and ehrlichiosis are transmitted by different ticks (and occur in different regions), they are often mentioned together since, according to the CDC in many ways Are very similar. ,
Anaplasmosis is transmitted through the deer tick and is most prevalent in the northeast and upper midwest. Cases of anaplasmosis have also occurred in other parts of the country, including along the West Coast, where it is transmitted by the Western Black-legged Tick, according to the CDC . On the other hand, the Ehrlichiosis is transmitted by the lonely star and deer tick and is to be found according to the reports of the CDC (19459004) and the CDC (19459153) usually in southeastern and southern parts of the country. As with many other diseases on this list, these infections are most likely to occur in spring and summer, both peaking in June and July.
In both anaplasmosis and ehrlichiosis, symptoms usually appear on the bite within two weeks of onset. Both can cause the same signs of infection that are likely to trigger a "tick bite" after reading this list, such as fever, chills, headache, muscle aches, nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, and loss of appetite. One major difference is that skin rashes are not very common in anaplasmosis, but according to CDC every third patient has a rash when he has ehrlichiosis. (This usually looks spotty and red or resembles tiny pinpricks.)
A blood test can be helpful in diagnosing anaplasmosis and ehrlichiosis, and both can be treated with antibiotics. However, it is incredibly important to be treated as soon as possible when symptoms occur. Both can lead to serious complications such as respiratory arrest, bleeding disorders, and in rare cases even death, according to CDC .
How to keep ticks away.
Maybe if you're on this ex-Instagram page, ticks are totally lurking. "One thing that people do not realize is that ticks do not fly," says Chou. Instead, they are waiting, as it were, for the opportunity to take you (or another animal).
To guard against this, the CDC recommends to be clear about which areas are most likely to hide ticks, such as grassy, wooded areas. If there is no option to avoid these areas in general – we see you, enthusiastic hikers, campers and gardeners – dress, at least for the occasion, as if you are wearing a pair of trousers and legs and ankles stuck in socks Do not be exposed and try to stay on paths instead of digging through the wilderness.
In exploring nature, CDC recommends wearing a repellent containing ingredients such as DEET, picaridine, IR3535, lemon eucalyptus oil, para-menthane diol (PMD), or 2-undecanone. These are all components that have been "registered" by the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), which means that there is data to prove that they are safe and effective. Also, consider treating items such as clothing, shoes, and camping equipment with products containing 0.5 percent of the insecticide permethrin, which remains effective for several washes, according to the CDC or pre-treated with them Chemical equipment). Then, after you've come home from a trip, wash your clothes in hot water and run them through the dryer to kill lingering ticks, says the CDC . You will never go for a hike in your life, depending on where you live, you could still collect ticks in areas such as parks or backyards, says Dr. Delaney. If you have pets that hang around outside, like dogs, they can also carry ticks to you.
This means that you either did an epic backpacking trip or just walked around with your dog At your local park, you should check for ticks that normally live near you. When you get home, do a tick check (and check your pet if necessary): look over your entire body, including easily overlooked areas such as elbows, ears, along your hairline and the back of your knees, and even in your navel says CDC . You can do this while showering, which the CDC recommends within two hours of entering. (As a bonus, a hot shower can be very effective at removing non-adherent ticks.)
And if you remember, did you, damn it, bit a tick ? No panic. We have complete instructions on how to deal with a tick bite here .