Why Tick Control Is Important
Both deer ticks and dog ticks can cause a variety of diseases in people and pets. One tick bite can cause multiple diseases. Diagnosis and treatment is more difficult when multiple diseases occur. Symptoms and treatment for each condition may vary.
Besides Lyme disease, ticks in Connecticut can also cause babesiosis, human granulocytic anaplasmosis/ehrlichiosis), and Rocky Mountain spotted fever.
Babesiosis – People who become sick may or may not get symptoms at all, but if they appear it is usually within 1-4 weeks of a tick bite. Symptoms may include:
- Drenching sweats
- Muscle or joint aches or pains
- A blood test may find a breakdown of the red blood cells called hemolytic anemia
For those with symptoms, treatment with a combination of quinine and clindamycin or a combination of atovaquone and azithromycin may be used.
HGA/HGE – illness can range from very mild to very severe; although most people will not have symptoms. People who become sick may get symptoms within 7-21 days after the tick bite. Most patients will experience the following symptoms:
- Rapid onset of fever
- Muscle or joint pain
- Severe headache
HGA/HGE can be effectively treated with antibiotics like doxycycline.
RMSF – not very common in Connecticut. Most patients experience symptoms within 2 weeks of a tick bite and include:
- Sudden onset of moderate to high fever (which can last for 2 or 3 weeks)
- Severe headache
- Deep muscle pain
- Rash, which begins on the legs or arms, may include the soles of the feet or palms of the hands and may spread rapidly to the trunk or rest of the body.
Treatment includes antibiotics.
Seek medical attention if you become ill after a tick bite.
More information is available from the Department of Health: