Ehrlichiosis

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  • In the U.S., the term “ehrlichiosis” is broadly applied to multiple different infections.  Ehrlichia chaffeensis and Ehrlichia ewingii are transmitted by the lone star tick (Amblyomma americanum) in the southeastern and southcentral U.S.  Ehrlichia muris-like (EML) has been diagnosed in a small number of patients from Minnesota and Wisconsin.  The tick that causes EML has yet to be determined.  The disease is characterized by fever, headache, chills, and muscle aches.  Ehrlichiosis is diagnosed based on clinical signs and symptoms and then later confirmed using laboratory tests.  The most effective treatment is doxycycline.  The disease can be prevented by prompt tick removal.