Tick borne disease: Anaplasmosis

Also known as: Human Granulocytic Ehrlichiosis (HGE), Ehrlichia equi, Ehrlichia phagocytophilum

Disease Agent: Anaplasma phagocytophilum

Required Bite Time: A tick infected with anaplasmosis usually needs to remain attached to you for 12 to 24 hours for disease transmission to occur

Incubation Period: The onset of impacts from anaplasmosis will begin 1 to 5 days after infection

Common Signs and Symptoms: Anaplasmosis symptoms include fever, muscle aches and pains, shaking, headache, severe headache, malaise, myalgia, diarrhea, nausea, stomach illness, rash, and even anorexia.

Serious Complications: renal (kidney) failure, respiratory problems, additional serious infections, breathing problems, death

Treatment Options: Health care options are available, antibiotics can help. Doxycycline is a medication commonly used to treat anaplasmosis. If you believe you have contracted anaplasmosis please consult a medical professional, early diagnosis is essential to preventing serious complications, delaying treatment can make a bad situation worse, resulting in escalated symptom severity or even death.

Notes and Facts: While anaplasmosis is not statistically one of the worst tick-borne diseases (as defined by mortality rate), it is a serious condition. The elderly and those with weakened immune systems may be at a higher risk for serious complications from this disease. The vast majority of anaplasmosis cases occur in the eastern states of Vermont, Maine, Rhode Island, Minnesota, Massachusetts, Wisconsin, New Hampshire, and New York.  If a tick is attached to you, there is no way of knowing if it is infected with anaplasmosis, read our page on how to remove a tick and use Tick Proof to prevent bites in the future. Anaplasmosis is not a disease that only threatens human beings, as cattle, dogs, cats, and other animals can also be infected by the bite of a tick.  

What ticks transmit anaplasmosis? Eastern blacklegged tick, Western blacklegged tick, “deer tick”

Primary Vector: Eastern blacklegged tick

Number of infections per year, United States: 5000+

The Western blacklegged tick (below) transmits anaplasmosis.