The disease most commonly transmitted by ticks in the Capital District region is unquestionably Lyme disease. However, there are some less frequently seen tick-borne diseases that can also be transmitted to residents of Albany County.
Anaplasmosis is a bacterial infection that can be transmitted by the bite of an infected deer tick. Symptoms of anaplasmosis include fever, muscle aches, weakness, and headache. Patients may also experience confusion, nausea, vomiting, and joint pain. Unlike Lyme disease, a rash is not common. These symptoms usually appear one to three weeks after the bite of an infected tick. Anaplasmos is treated with antibiotics.
Babesiosis is a rare and severe tick-borne disease caused by a microscopic parasite that can be transmitted by the bite of an infected deer tick. Symptoms include fever, fatigue and anemia lasting from several days to several months. It may take from one to eight weeks, sometimes longer, for symptoms to appear. Some drugs used in the treatment of malaria have been found to be effective in some patients with babesiosis.
Both anaplasmosis and babesiosis occur most frequently on Long Island and in the lower Hudson Valley, but they do occasionally affect Albany County residents as well.
The deer tick can transmit Lyme disease, anaplasmosis and babesiosis. You can contract more than one of these diseases from a single deer tick bite. It is important to always take precautions whenever you're in tick-infested habitats such as wooded and grassy areas. Check yourself, your children and your pets frequently for ticks and be sure to remove any attached ticks promptly and properly to reduce your chances of tick-borne infection.