Co-Infections

Lyme Disease is not the only infection that is passed by a tick bite. These other diseases have become known as “co-infections

 

Babesia

Babesia is a protozoan spread by ticks, blood transfusion, and in utero. There are 13 known forms but our current blood testing only looks for two of them.

Symptoms

Air hunger

Cough

Fatigue

Fevers

Headache

Hemolysis

Imbalance

Encephalopathy

Shaking chills

Night Sweats

 

Bartonella

Bartonella is spread by bites from infected ticks and in utero and by dust mites.

Symptoms

stretch mark-like rash

Bartonella Rash

abnormal liver enzymes

encephalopathy

endocarditis

flu-like malaise

headache

hemolysis with anemia

hepatomegaly

high fever

immune deficiency

jaundice

lymphadenopathy

myalgias

myocarditis

papular or angiomatous rash

somnolence

sore throat

splenomegaly

weakened immune response

 

Ehrlichia

Erlichiosis is spread by bites from infected ticks

Symptoms

elevated liver enzymes

headaches

myalgias

ongoing fatigue

persistent leukopenia

thrombocytopenia

 

Rocky Mountain Spotted Fever

Rocky Mountain spotted fever is caused by the bacterium Rickettsia rickettsii. The bacterium is spread to humans through the bite of infected ticks, and so the disease is most common in months where ticks are active, such as summer. Rocky Mountains occurs throughout most of the U.S. Most cases require hospitalization, and severe cases require intensive care. The disease is diagnosed by finding high titers of antibodies in the blood or by seeing the organism under a microscope in specially stained skin biopsies. The treatment of choice is the antibiotic doxycycline (Vibramycin, Oracea, Adoxa, Atridox). Prompt treatment improves survival and reduces complications.

Symptoms

high fever

severe headache

chills fatigue and muscle pain/achiness

myalgias nausea

loss of appetite

gastrointestinal problems (10% will produce stools positive for occult blood)

light intolerance

dizzyness

For more information please visit: http://www.medicinenet.com/rocky_mountain_spotted_fever/article.htm

 

Mycoplasma Fermentans

The most common of the Lyme Co-infection is Mycoplasma Fermentans. It is the smallest of bacteria’s and has the ability to enter any cell and alter itself, changing its cellular makeup with every cell division. It invades all systems of the human body.

Symptoms

flu-like aches and pains

cramps and spasms night sweats

intermittent fevers

memory loss

depression

irritability

loss of concentration

nervousness

anxiety

gastrointestinal

problems

nausea

Mycoplasmas are a heterogeneous group of the smallest organisms capable of self-replication. They can cause a wide variety of diseases in animals. Some mycoplasmas cause respiratory or urogenital diseases in humans. Mycoplasmas often chronically colonize our respiratory and urogenital tracts without apparent clinical significance.

To read more about Mycoplasma please visit:

http://bloodjournal.hematologylibrary.org/content/104/13/4252.long

http://rheumatology.oxfordjournals.org/content/40/12/1355.full

 

Tick Paralysis

Tick paralysis is the only tick-borne disease that is not caused by an infectious organism. The illness is caused by a neurotoxin produced in the tick’s salivary gland. The tick incoculates the host with a toxin from tick salivary glands during a blood meal. The toxin causes symptoms within a week beginning with weakness in both legs that progresses to paralysis. The paralysis ascends to the trunk, arms, and head within hours and may lead to respiratory failure and death. The disease can present as acute ataxia without muscle weakness.

Removal of the embedded tick usually results in resolution of symptoms within several hours to days. If the tick is not removed, the toxin can be fatal.

Please be aware that you dog can get this too. http://www.nutrecareblog.com/2011/05/tick-paralysis

 

Colorado Tick Fever

Colorado tick fever is an acute viral infection spread by the bite of the Dermacentor andersoni wood tick.

Symptoms

fever headache chills light sensitivity myalgias malaise fatigue and malaise, for weeks to months nausea, diarrhea light sensitivity rare pneumonitis myocarditis hepatitis Signs and tests Complement fixation antibody test Immunofluorescence antibody test Complete blood count (CBC) Creatine kinase

Liver function tests

 

Q Fever

Q fever is a bacterial infection that can affect the lungs, liver, heart, and other parts of the body. People usually get infected with Q fever by breathing in contaminated droplets released by infected animals. Drinking raw milk has also caused infection in rare cases. Chronic Q fever requires long-term treatment with antibiotics.

Symptoms

High fever

Headache

Sore throat

Malaise

Nausea

Clay-colored stools

Jaundice

Diarrhea

Chest pain

Cough

Q fever is found around the world and is caused by the bacteria Coxiella burnetii. The bacteria affects sheep, goats, cattle, dogs, cats, birds, rodents, and ticks, as well as some other animals. Infected animals shed this bacteria in:

Birth products

Feces

Milk

Urine

 

Powassan Virus

Symptoms

Powassan (POW) virus is related to some mosquito-borne viruses, including West Nile virus. The virus is named after Powassan, Ontario, where it was first discovered in 1958. Two types of Powassan virus have been found in North America.

 

There are two types:

One type of POW virus is carried by Ixodes scapularis (deer tick).

The second type of POW virus is carried by Ixodes cookei, a related tick species that usually feeds on woodchucks or other medium-sized mammals instead of humans. I. cookei has also been found in wooded areas in Minnesota.

 

Symptoms

Encephalitis (inflammation of the brain)

Meningitis (inflammation of the membranes that surround the brain and spinal cord).

Fever

headache

vomiting

weakness

confusion

loss of coordination

speech difficulties

memory loss

Learn more at http://diseasemaps.usgs.gov/pow_us_human.html

 

Tickborne Relapsing Fever

Relapsing fever is an infection caused by the bites of lice or soft-bodied ticks. Tick-borne relapsing fever is found primarily in Africa, Spain, Saudi Arabia, Asia, and certain areas in the Western U.S. and Canada. Most people who are infected get sick around within a couple weeks of the bite.

Symptoms may include a sudden fever, chills, headaches, and muscle or joint aches, and nausea; a rash may also occur. These symptoms continue for 2-9 days, then disappear. This cycle may continue for several weeks if the person is not treated.

Relapsing Fever is easily treated with 1-2 weeks of antibiotics. Most people improve within 24 hours of starting antibiotics.

 

Tularemia

Tularemia is an infection common in wild rodents and can be passed to humans through contact with infected animal tissues or by ticks, biting flies, and mosquitoes. Tularemia is caused by the bacterium Francisella tularensis. F. tularensis tularensis which is found in lagomorphs in North America, is highly virulent in humans and domestic rabbits.

Humans can get the disease through:

A bite from an infected tick, horsefly, or mosquito

Breathing in infected dirt or plant material

Direct contact, through a break in the skin, with an infected animal or its dead body (most often a rabbit, muskrat, beaver, or squirrel)

Eating infected meat (rare)

 

Symptoms

high fever

swollen glands

chills, headache

extreme fatigue

muscle aches

joint pain

dry cough

progressive weakness

fever

exhaustion

weight loss

nausea, vomiting. diarrhea

abdominal pain

intestinal ulcerations

inflamed eyes often with a discharge

sore throat, mouth sores

The drug of choice is streptomycin. Tularemia may also be treated with gentamicin for ten days, tetracycline-class drugs such as doxycycline for two to three weeks.

 

STARI (Southern Tick-Associated Rash Illness)

Southern Tick Associated Rash Illness (STARI), also known as Masters disease, occurs after the bite of the lone star tick. The disease is thought to be caused by the bacterium Borrelia lonestari.Early STARI symptoms are similar to symptoms of early Lyme disease. A skin lesion that looks like a Lyme disease bull’s eye rash appears at the site of the tick bite. Treatment with an antibiotic regimen similar to that used for LD helps resolve STARI.Symtpoms Fever Headache Lesion at bite site

 

Parts of this list were taken from Short Co-Infection Symptoms List

To learn more about co-infections go to: Lyme Disease Co-infections

 





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