Not only can ticks carry several diseases, but the number of diseases that they carry has doubled since 2004, with seven new pathogens being picked up by these pests. On top of that, as the ticks expand their territories across the country, the number of tick-borne disease infections is also going up. Let’s take a look at what diseases are currently being spread by ticks.
Ticks are best known for spreading Lyme disease. This disease is transmitted by the blacklegged tick and the western blacklegged tick throughout the country, and it is best identified by the red circular rash that surrounds the bite area. The symptoms will usually onset after 3 to 30 days, and they include fever, muscle stiffness, the previously mentioned rash and general body pain. If not treated, the disease can get quite serious.
Rocky Mountain spotted fever (RMSF)
RMSF is transmitted by the American dog tick, the brown dog tick and the Rocky Mountain wood tick. This disease is most common in the Southeastern and Eastern states of the US, but it is spread throughout the country. A person infected with RMSF will experience muscle pain, vomiting, abdominal pain, headaches and fever. A rash may also develop on the arms at first and then spread to the trunk of the body. This disease is dangerous because if it is not detected and treated early on it can lead to more severe symptoms and even death, but in its early stage it resembles the flu.
Tick-borne relapsing fever
Tick-borne relapsing fever is caused by a bacterial infection, and it is characterized by repeating episodes of nausea, fever, joint aches, muscle aches and headaches. This disease is most common in the western part of the country, and it is transmitted from rodents by a certain type of ticks, known as soft ticks. This type of fever is usually contracted in mountain cabins that have rodent populations inside them.
Other diseases transmitted by ticks
Ticks can spread a plethora of diseases including Colorado tick fever, babesiosis, tularemia, ehrlichiosis, southern tick-associated rash illness, anaplasmosis, Powassan diseases, rickettsiosis, the heartland virus and 64D rickettsiosis. This is what makes them so dangerous, and why you need to get rid of them as soon as you suspect that you have an infestation on your property. For this, you will need the help of a pro. Contact us today if you have a tick infestation in your backyard that has to be removed