There's a breakout of a rare tick-borne disease in Central New York.

Six cases of anaplasmosis, a rare tick-borne disease, have been reported this year. There have only been 3 cases total in the past years.

Anaplasmosis is spread through the bite of an infected tick. "In New York state, the disease is spread by the black-legged tick (Ixodes scapularis), which is the same type of tick that typically spreads Lyme disease," said Onondaga County Health Commissioner Dr. Indu Gupta. "If we are diligent in practicing the same prevention measures we’ve learned to prevent Lyme disease, we are protecting ourselves from other tickborne diseases including anaplasmosis.”

Credit - Erik Karits/Unsplash
Credit - Erik Karits/Unsplash

Symptoms and Treatment

If you've been infected, you'll start noticing symptoms within 1 to 2 weeks after the bite, including fever, chills, muscle aches, nausea, vomiting, and diarrhea. You need to seek treatment immediately. Anaplasmosis can cause severe illness and even death in rare cases.

Protect Yourself

  • Wear shoes, light-colored socks, long pants, and a long-sleeved shirt.Tuck in your shirt and pant legs.
  • Consider using insect repellents containing DEET, Picaridin, IR3535, or oil of lemon eucalyptus.
  • Treat clothing and gear with products containing 0.5% permethrin.
  • Mow often and remove brush to keep ticks away from yoru yard.
  • Keep playground toys, decks, and patios away from wooded areas.
  • Check for and remove ticks after being outdoors.
Credit - Onondaga County Health Department
Credit - Onondaga County Health Department

How to Check for Ticks

  • Use tweezers to grab the tick’s head or mouth, where it enters the skin.
  • Pull the tick firmly up, in a steady motion, away from the skin.
  • Clean the bite with soap and water, rubbing alcohol, or hydrogen peroxide.
  • Keep a record of the date, time, and where you were bitten.

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