Human Erlichiosis is a bacterial infection that comes from ticks and it can result in minimal or serious conditions. To avoid getting infected or to find cure for the disease, it is important to understand its nature and cause, learn to recognize the different types of Ehrlichiosis, be aware of the different symptoms, be aware of its diagnosis and cure, know the complications of Ehrlichiosis, and be aware of the preventive measures against the disease.
A person can become extremely ill if cases of human Ehrlichiosis are not diagnosed and treated promptly. Here is a list of facts about Human Ehrlichiosis:
Become aware of the nature and cause behind Human Ehrlichiosis
Human Ehrlichiosis is an infection cause by the bacteria Ehrlichia. An infected tick like a deer tick or a lone star tick can transmit the infection in the human bloodstream by means of a bite. The disease cannot be passed from person to person. Ehrlichiosis cases have been found in southeast and south-central United States. California, mid-western and the northeastern states have also had reported cases of the disease.
Learn to recognize the different types of Ehrlichiosis
Human Ehrlichiosis is commonly categorized into either Human Monocytic Ehrlichiosis (HME) or Human Granulocutic Ehrlichiosis (HGE), which are named on the basis of what kind of white blood cells they infect. HME attacks monocytes while HGE infects the granulocytes.
Be aware of the signs indicating the infection
Following a 5 to 10 day incubation period after the initial tick bite, the symptoms of Ehrlichiosis start to show. Aching of major muscles, weakness, high fever and headache are the symptoms. There could also be a rash, vomiting, nausea, diarrhea and cough. While most cases of Ehrlichia infection exhibit the aforementioned symptoms, some cases develop only very mild or no signs at all.
Be aware of its diagnosis and cure
A Human Ehrlichiosis diagnosis begins with the noticeable signs of infection after being bitten by a tick. Certain laboratory and blood tests are also conducted to determine the presence of Ehrlichia bacteria, as well as low white blood cell count, low platelet count, and high level enzymes. The most common antibiotic used for treatment is doxycycline. For those who are allergic to doxycycline or are pregnant, rifampin is used as an alternative medication.
Understand the complications of Ehrlichiosis
If not diagnosed and treated immediately, Human Ehrlichiosis can result in serious conditions and complications as the bacteria spread throughout the body. This can cause the white cell and platelet count to drop. Some of the complications are very high fever, seizures, increased mental confusion, severe joint pain, and in some, severe cases of kidney failure. Sometimes there are also incidents of death.
Find out how it can be prevented
Avoiding tick bites is the best defense against contracting this disease. Always make sure to avoid being in areas that are known to be infested with ticks during peak months and more so when there are many reports of Ehrlichiosis cases. When you are in wooded areas, wear clothing that can protect and cover your entire body like long-sleeved tops, long pants, covered shoes, hats and even socks. Use insect repellent to protect the exposed parts of your body like the neck and hands. Make sure to check your clothes and body for any ticks because the bacteria can be transmitted if the tick remains stuck to one’s body for a 24-hour period. To ensure that you immediately remove any ticks on your body; take a shower after spending time outside.
Prevention is always better than a cure, so make sure to take extra precautions to avoid being infected by Ehrlichiosis and suffer from its complications.