Boy Gets Rare Tick Infection from Blood Transfusion

A 9-year-old Georgia boy who developed a rare tick-borne disease got the infection from a blood transfusion, according to a report of his case.

The case is the first time this infection, called ehrlichiosis, was spread by a transfusion, said Dr. Joanna Regan of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

The bacterial infection, though rare, is serious and can be fatal, Regan said. Ehrlichiosis can go undetected because routine tests don’t look for it, and many people do not realize they were bitten by a tick. In this case, which occurred during the summer of 2011, the boy’s condition deteriorated over the course of 10 days until a pathologist discovered the infection.

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