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BEWARE! TICK BITES CAN BE FATAL

Wiliam E. Cleary Sr. | CNBNews

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CNBNEWS (https://www.gloucestercitynews.net)(June 5, 2021)--Our long-time friend Chalie Huber, aka ChalieTheClip, sent us some information that appeared first in The Washington Post and was republished by Yahoo News about a new deadly tick disease that, like many other tick infections can kill you. The name of it is babesiosis, a tick-borne infection that attacks red blood cells and appears to be growing in prevalence.

From The Washington Post/Yahoo News May 27, 2021 article, 

Jeff Naticchia wasn't feeling well when he set off to work one Friday in late July 2017. The sales supervisor at Comcast was planning to work a half-day before a long-planned family weekend in Upstate New York. Instead, he called his wife, Crissy, from work and said to meet him at the emergency room. Something was wrong.

When Crissy arrived, she was shocked at what she saw: Her husband's skin was yellowed, he seemed agitated and he couldn't urinate.

Jeff was turning 51 and had been dieting and exercising to stay in shape, taking long walks in the state park that backed up to their home in Bucks County, Pa. He had always been healthy, although earlier that month, he started getting fevers and night sweats and had gone to a local urgent care clinic. He was given a urine test, diagnosed with a kidney infection and prescribed antibiotics. Briefly, he seemed to improve.

But now, doctors in the ER examined Jeff, ordered tests and, with no immediate answers, admitted him to the hospital.

The next day, Jeff was weaker, sweating, unable to sleep. His breathing was labored. The whites of his eyes had yellowed, and his bilirubin was climbing, a sign that red blood cells were breaking down at an unusual rate or of liver trouble. The doctors moved Jeff to the intensive care unit, and placed him in a medically induced coma and on a ventilator. On Sunday, he was transferred to a hospital specializing in liver care.

Jeff's symptoms resembled malaria. Could he have caught something in Costa Rica three months earlier? No, that timing didn't make sense. Jeff was put on kidney dialysis. His team periodically woke him, and he would squeeze his wife's hand.

Finally, on Tuesday, some potentially good news. An infectious-disease doctor at the hospital told Crissy, "We think we have a diagnosis."

Jeff probably had babesiosis, a tick-borne infection that attacks red blood cells and appears to be growing in prevalence. Were there a lot of ticks or deer in her yard? Yes, she said, and later recalled that Jeff had pulled a tick off himself that summer, no bigger than a poppy seed.  

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The Center of Disease and Prevention (CDC) list 16 different infections a person can get from a variety of ticks across the United States.  

  • Anaplasmosis is transmitted to humans by tick bites primarily from the blacklegged tick (Ixodes scapularis) in the northeastern and upper midwestern U.S. and the western blacklegged tick (Ixodes pacificus) along the Pacific coast.
  • Babesiosis is caused by microscopic parasites that infect red blood cells. Most human cases of babesiosis in the U.S. are caused by Babesia microtiBabesia microti is transmitted by the blacklegged tick (Ixodes scapularis) and is found primarily in the northeast and upper midwest.
  • Borrelia mayonii infection has recently been described as a cause of illness in the upper midwestern United States. It has been found in blacklegged ticks (Ixodes scapularis) in Minnesota and Wisconsin. Borrelia mayonii is a new species and is the only species besides B. burgdorferi known to cause Lyme disease in North America.
  • Borrelia miyamotoi infection has recently been described as a cause of illness in the U.S. It is transmitted by the blacklegged tick (Ixodes scapularis) and has a range similar to that of Lyme disease.
  • Bourbon virus infection has been identified in a limited number patients in the Midwest and southern United States. At this time, we do not know if the virus might be found in other areas of the United States.
  • Colorado tick fever is caused by a virus transmitted by the Rocky Mountain wood tick (Dermacentor andersoni). It occurs in the the Rocky Mountain states at elevations of 4,000 to 10,500 feet.
  • Ehrlichiosis is transmitted to humans by the lone star tick (Ambylomma americanum), found primarily in the southcentral and eastern U.S.
  • Heartland virus cases have been identified in the Midwestern and southern United States. Studies suggest that Lone Star ticks can transmit the virus. It is unknown if the virus may be found in other areas of the U.S.
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Only about 9% get the classic bull’s eye rash. Others may get another type of Erythema Migrans (EM) rash or may get no rash at all. Rash at other than bite site may be disseminated disease. Symptoms may occur days or months after a tick bite. According to the Centers for Disease Control & Prevention (CDC) surveillance criteria, an erythema migrans (EM) rash in an endemic area, means Lyme disease. In a non-endemic area, a rash requires a positive test. The CDC criteria are for surveillance purposes, not diagnosis.



  • Lyme disease is transmitted by the blacklegged tick (Ixodes scapularis) in the northeastern U.S. and upper midwestern U.S. and the western blacklegged tick (Ixodes pacificus) along the Pacific coast.
  • Powassan disease is transmitted by the blacklegged tick (Ixodes scapularis) and the groundhog tick (Ixodes cookei). Cases have been reported primarily from northeastern states and the Great Lakes region.
  • Rickettsia parkeri rickettsiosis is transmitted to humans by the Gulf Coast tick (Amblyomma maculatum).
  • Rocky Mountain spotted fever (RMSF) is transmitted by the American dog tick (Dermacentor variabilis), Rocky Mountain wood tick (Dermacentor andersoni), and the brown dog tick (Rhipicephalus sangunineus) in the U.S. The brown dog tick and other tick species are associated with RMSF in Central and South America.
  • STARI (Southern tick-associated rash illness) is transmitted via bites from the lone star tick (Ambylomma americanum), found in the southeastern and eastern U.S.
  • Tickborne relapsing fever (TBRF) is transmitted to humans through the bite of infected soft ticks. TBRF has been reported in 15 states: Arizona, California, Colorado, Idaho, Kansas, Montana, Nevada, New Mexico, Ohio, Oklahoma, Oregon, Texas, Utah, Washington, and Wyoming and is associated with sleeping in rustic cabins and vacation homes.
  • Tularemia is transmitted to humans by the dog tick (Dermacentor variabilis), the wood tick (Dermacentor andersoni), and the lone star tick (Amblyomma americanum). Tularemia occurs throughout the U.S.
  • 364D rickettsiosis (Rickettsia phillipi, proposed) is transmitted to humans by the Pacific Coast tick (Dermacentor occidentalis ticks). This is a new disease that has been found in California.

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