Infectolab - tick bite

Is Rocky Mountain Spotted Fever Caused By Ticks?

Rocky Mountain Spotted Fever (RMSF for short) is one of the most dangerous vector-borne diseases that humans can contract. Yet not a lot of people know how you catch it. Lyme is the heavy-hitter of vector-borne diseases, but there are countless more out there that humans can potentially contract from any given bite of a tick, louse, mite, or flea. Sometimes these can be transmitted simultaneously with Lyme disease, in which case they’re known as co-infections. Sometimes they are contracted singularly and do enough damage on their own. Unfortunately for doctors, many of the initial symptoms of these diseases present the same way. Knowing if you have come into contact with any ticks or fleas recently is key. But is Rocky Mountain Spotted Fever caused by ticks? And if so, what tick causes Rocky Mountain Spotted Fever?

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Infectolab - tick on hand

How Do You Contract Rickettsia?

Most people know that you contract Lyme disease through a tick bite. But Borrelia burgdorferi, the Lyme-causative bacteria, is not the only pathogen that can be transferred via tick saliva. Other diseases can occur simultaneously with Lyme; these are called co-infections. Unfortunately, the public and medical professional education surrounding co-infections is scant at best. They can often compound the symptoms of Lyme disease, or cause disturbing new symptoms in their own right. Left untreated, they can also cause old symptoms to resurge, complicating treatment and prolonging patients’ suffering.

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Infectolab - deer tick close up

Which Ticks Carry Lyme Disease?

Most people know that you can get Lyme disease from ticks, but very few people know what type of ticks, and the percentage chance you have of contracting the disease if you’re unlucky enough to get bitten. In recent years, Lyme was thought to have been a totally North Eastern phenomenon, incapable of spreading outside key states like Connecticut (where it was first diagnosed and discovered in 1975), Maine, Vermont, and New York. In 2018, however, Lyme can be found in every state in mainland U.S., and constitutes one of the fastest-growing vector-borne diseases on the planet. Education is one of the best weapons we have in the battle against Lyme disease; using that as a jumping-off point, the first thing you should know is which type of ticks carry the Lyme virus. Continue reading “Which Ticks Carry Lyme Disease?”