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Robert R. Cawley, D.O.

Dover, NH 03802

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08/09/2016

15 Facts About Tick Borne Diseases

Compiled by Dr. John Mendoza of Wentworth Health Partners Summitt Infectious Disease

1. Tick borne diseases in New England include Lyme, Anaplasmosis and Babesiosis.

2. New Hampshire had the second-highest incidence rate of Lyme disease in 2013.

3. Lyme disease is the most commonly reported vectorborne illness in the United State, and it is concentrated heavily in the Northeast and upper Midwest.

4. It's seasonal. Most illness typically found between May to September. 

5. There's no specific presentation or symptoms. Some people experience fever, headache, fatigue, myalgias, rash.

6. Infection with tick borne diseases can be very debilitating but rarely life threatening.

7. They are transmitted through deer tick bites. The infection is caused by the bacteria carried by the tick, NOT by the tick itself. 

8. Mice, small mammals and birds are the reservoir, NOT deer or humans, which are accidental hosts.

9. Diagnosis is clinical, meaning treatment is initiated prior to diagnostic testing.

10. Laboratory testing is useful if used correctly; but it's useless for patients who do not have typical signs and symptoms of infection.

11. Treatment with antibiotics, (i.e. doxycycline) is VERY EFFECTIVE.

12. The best defense against tick borne diseases is reduction of exposure to ticks.

13. There is no vaccine for Lyme, Anaplasmosis and Babesiosis.

14. There is a post-Lyme Disease Syndrome, i.e. residual constitutional symptoms such as fatigue, generalized pain and cognitive complaints even after appropriate antibiotic therapy which does not require re-treatment

15. In contrast, there is no such thing as “Chronic Lyme Disease”.

For more information about how to prevent tick bites and for general information about lyme disease, visit http://www.cdc.gov/lyme/.

To schedule an appointment with Dr. Mendoza at Summit Infectious Disease Associates, call (603) 742-7025.