Ehrlichiosis spreads when an infected tick, primarily the Lone Star tick, bites you and feeds on you for 24 hours or longer. The following factors may increase your risk of getting tick-borne infections:
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- Being outdoors in warm weather. Most cases of ehrlichiosis occur in the spring and summer months when populations of the Lone Star tick are at their peak and people are outside for activities such as hiking, golfing, gardening and camping.
- Living in or visiting an area with a high tick population. You are at greater risk if you are in an area with a high Lone Star tick population. In the United States, Lone Star ticks are most common in southeastern, eastern and south-central states.
- Being male. Ehrlichiosis infections are more common in males, likely because of increased time outdoors for work and recreation.
- Ehrlichiosis. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. http://www.cdc.gov/ehrlichiosis. Accessed May 3, 2012.
- Other tick-borne diseases. American Lyme Disease Foundation. http://www.aldf.com/Ehrlichiosis.shtml. Accessed May 3, 2012.
- Hay WW, et al. Current Diagnosis & Treatment: Pediatrics. 20th ed. New York, N.Y.: The McGraw-Hill Companies; 2011. http://www.accessmedicine.com/content.aspx?aID=6589902. Accessed May 3, 2012.
- Longo DL, et al. Harrison's Online. 18th ed. New York, N.Y.: The McGraw-Hill Companies; 2012. http://www.accessmedicine.com/content.aspx?aID=9102446. Accessed May 3, 2012.
- Graham J, et al. Tick-borne illnesses: CME update. Pediatric Emergency Care. 2011;27:141.
- Ismail N, et al. Human ehrlichiosis and anaplasmosis. Clinical Laboratory Medicine. 2012;30:261.
- Lyme disease. American Lyme Disease Foundation. http://www.aldf.com/lyme.shtml#removal. Accessed May 4, 2012.
- Preventing tick bites. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. http://www.cdc.gov/ticks/avoid/on_people.html. Accessed May 4, 2012.