Rashes and mosquito bites are common in summer and most people do not pay heed to them unless they lead to serious infections such as malaria and dengue. Apart from mosquito-related infections, some tick-borne infections are also common especially in the woody and humid areas. One such infection that bears a close resemblance to Lyme Disease is Anaplasmosis.
According to the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), the pathogen responsible for anaplasmosis is carried by the same tick species that cause Lyme Disease. These black-legged insects exist commonly in northeastern areas. However, the geographic range of this tick expanded significantly in recent years, and so did the cases of anaplasmosis.
The infection starts with mild symptoms in the first week such as body ache, loss of appetite, and mild fever. In case the patient with anaplasmosis does not seek treatment in due time, it can lead to potentially fatal consequences. Some of the symptoms in the late stage of this tock-borne infection include organ failure, bleeding, ad respiratory issues.
According to Dr. Purvi Parikh, an infectious disease expert at NYU Langone mentioned that some symptoms of anaplasmosis are identical to those of Lyme Disease. However, there are significant differences that help disease experts to distinguish between the two infections. Most of the patients with anaplasmosis suffer from nausea and diarrhea in the first few days of the infection which is not the case of Lyme Disease.
Dr. Parikh also mentioned that doctors diagnose anaplasmosis via a blood test which helps them distinguish between the two diseases. Fortunately, the number of fatalities reported due to anaplasmosis is low. According to the data provided by the CDC, the fatality rate of this infection is less than 1% in the US. This means that only 1% of the individuals who contract the pathogen responsible for anaplasmosis die due to this disease. However, it is essential to address this problem in the early stage as it can lead to death if left untreated.
Usually, doctors recommend antibiotics to treat this bacterial infection, mentioned Dr. Parikh. These antibiotics are effective in the early stage of infection and the patient may need hospitalization in the later stage. Moreover, they are made need intensive care in case the infection prolongs and reaches a deadly stage.
The health experts suggest preventing these tick-borne infections such as Lyme Disease and anaplasmosis with some preventive measures. According to the experts, you can wear light-colored clothing to spot any ticks and mosquitoes on your clothes. Also, wearing full-sleeved shirts and long trousers help avoid tick bites. Another way of keeping these disease-carrying insects at bay is using insect repellent sprays and creams, especially in the evening.
The experts also recommend checking your neck, arms, and legs for any rashes, mosquito bites, or redness to keep such infections in check. These preventive measures are particularly essential during the summer season when most people spend their time outdoors. Also, those who frequently go on trails, hikes, and mid-summer adventures are more prone to these diseases.