Ticks are most active in the warmer months of spring and summer and can transmit a variety of diseases, including anaplasmosis, ehrlichiosis, Lyme disease, spotted fever rickettsiosis, tick-borne relapsing fever and tularemia. Clinical signs and symptoms of anaplasmosis and ehrlichiosis are non-specific and typically include fever, headache, muscle aches, and fatigue. Lyme disease, the most frequently diagnosed tick-borne illness in the United States, is not commonly acquired in Texas (Texas is considered a low incidence state for Lyme disease). Infection may cause skin lesions or rash, fever, fatigue, headache, muscle and joint aches, and, in some cases, if left untreated, severe damage to the joints, heart, and nervous system. Rocky Mountain spotted fever, one of several related diseases known as spotted fever group rickettsioses, is typically characterized by fever and a measles-like rash and can cause serious illness and even death if not treated quickly. Tick-borne relapsing fever (TBRF), which is often associated with cave exploration or sleeping in rustic cabins, can cause recurring bouts of fever, headache, muscle and joint aches, and nausea. Lyme disease and TBRF symptoms can be very similar, and TBRF patients may test positive for Lyme disease. Signs and symptoms of tularemia can vary widely depending on the route of exposure, but typically they are non-specific and may include fever, malaise, skin lesions, and swollen lymph nodes. Tularemia can also be transmitted directly through handling infected animals, particularly wild rabbits and rodents, or through exposure to mud or water containing the bacteria.
- Lyme Disease
- Spotted Fever Group Rickettsioses including Rocky Mountain Spotted Fever
- Tick-borne Relapsing Fever
- Tick Submission and Testing