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New York sees increase in a rare tick-borne illness “Anaplasmosis!”

The residents of New York’s Onondaga County have been alerted by the health officials about “Anaplasmosis”, a rare disease/infection caused by ticks which leads to severe diseases. The health officials alerted the people after the cases of the diseases increased in a short period.

As told by the county’s health commissioner, only three cases of the said disease were reported in the last five years. This year has seen a comparatively drastic increase as 6 cases of Anaplasmosis have been reported on in 2021.

Dr. Indu Gupta, the Onondaga County’s health commissioner stated, “In New York State, the disease is spread by the blacklegged tick, which is the same type of tick that typically spreads Lyme disease. If we are diligent in practicing the same prevention measures we’ve learned to prevent Lyme disease, we are protecting ourselves from other tick-borne diseases including anaplasmosis.”

CDC explains that the bacterial disease Anaplasmosis is caused and spread by tick bites, primarily by the blacklegged tick and the western blacklegged tick. The symptoms of the disease include headache, nausea, chills, fever, severe headache, muscle ache, vomiting, diarrhea and loss of appetite, which may appear after within 1-2 weeks of the bite.

The disease Anaplasmosis is certainly dangerous as it can also lead to respiratory failure, bleeding problems, organ failure, or even death. However, these symptoms mainly occur if the treatment is not started on time of due to some underlying medical conditions. Similar to Covid, those who have a weak or weakened immune system are at the risk of severe illness cause by this tick-borne disease.

In order to control the wide spread of Anaplamosis, the health department has advised taking certain steps to ensure tick prevention, specifically in the camping and vacations season. People are advised to cover their body with shoes, light-colored socks, long pants and a long-sleeved shirt while outdoors. Before going out, people should also consider using insect repellents which contain DEET and others approved by the EPA.

In additions, the health department has also advised frequent checking for ticks after spending time outdoors and removing any promptly.

Different diseases caused by ticks have increased in the recent times. Other than New York, Maine has also confirmed a case of tick-borne Powassan virus. Besides, the cases of Lyme disease caused by ticks have tripled since the late 1990s.

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