Dr. Tom Colletti, DHSC, PA-C, DFAAPA
Purpose: Given the recent rise in tick borne-illness, the purpose of this clinical review is to (1) remind clinicians to consider tick-borne disease in their differential diagnosis when evaluating patients who present with non-specific viral symptoms in the setting of the recent history of outdoor activity, (2) encourage clinicians to treat patients with tick exposure or suspected tick bite empirically, and (3) remind clinicians that tick-borne illness can be found on anyone, no matter their race, sex, age or social, economic status. This clinical review will focus on the top five most common tick-borne illnesses, their signs, symptoms, diagnosis, treatment, and prevention, according to those listed by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).
Method: A PubMed literature search was conducted using the following terms: tick-borne illness, Lyme Disease, Rocky Mountain Spotted Fever, Anaplasmosis, Ehrlichiosis, and Babesiosis. From the literature search, 21 articles were selected for the clinical review.
Conclusion: The number of tick-borne illnesses has increased, and the five most common infections are Lyme Disease, Anaplasmosis, Ehrlichiosis, Rocky Mountain Spotted Fever, and Babesiosis. Providers should consider tick borne-illness with patients who present with non-specific flu-like symptoms in the summer months. Early treatment and diagnosis are essential in optimizing outcomes and even preventing death.
Corporan-Reyes JB, Corporan-Reyess J. Let's Tick Talk: A Case for Emperic Treatment for Tick-borne Illness. University of Lynchburg DMSc Doctoral Project Assignment Repository. 2021; 3(3).
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