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February 2001

Another Tick-Borne Disease

You can add another disease to those you might get from ticks: ehrlichiosis.

You can add another disease to those you might get from ticks: ehrlichiosis. Like Lyme disease, ehrlichiosis is carried by deer ticks and causes flulike symptoms, including fever and body aches. But unlike Lyme, no distinctive rash accompanies infection.

A Yale University report says the disease, unknown in humans until 1986, is appearing much more often than was first estimated, and “has been found in many areas of the United States,” including Connecticut, Minnesota, and New Jersey. Fortunately, ehrlichiosis typically causes less serious problems than does Lyme disease, but it still should be treated by a physician. Quick tick removal can prevent both diseases, so do a daily inspection and carefully remove all ticks. If you can, save any tick you remove so your doctor can have it tested.

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