Ticks are often called dirty needles because of the number of infections they can transmit. While most people may only be concerned about Lyme disease, ticks can transmit many infections at one time. Co-infections are often not considered when a tick bite or infection has been suspected. Unfortunately, most doctors are not even aware that these co-infections exist and may misdiagnose symptoms as something else. The CDC however, does keep a registry of many of these coinfections but the problem is, these infections are not being diagnosed.
In recent years, “newly” discovered tick-borne infections are brought to the attention of the public but often, only when it takes someone’s life. Each year the media stirs up fear regarding these diseases that have been around for quite some time. Just as common are those who say, “not every tick has Lyme”. While it is true that not every tick carries the bacteria that causes Lyme disease, every tick does carry some form of infection whether it’s bacterial, viral, parasitic, or worms.
Lyme disease and many of these coinfections can be found in many different species of ticks in every state across the US as well as in Canada and many parts of the world. Many countries, including the US, are denying that these infections cause disease or symptoms in humans yet labs which specialize in tick-borne infections would disagree.
Unless you’re seeing a physician who truly understands the complexities of a tick bite and the diseases they carry, you have a very good chance of being misdiagnosed. Please educate yourself about the controversy between IDSA and ILADS doctors. You can read my post, What is Lyme Disease and Why Should You Care.
Below are some of the most common tick-borne infections. These are commonly referred to as co-infections because many times they are transmitted along with Lyme Disease. Ticks often transmit many infections at one time and so it’s important to seek a doctor or naturopath who knows how to diagnose them.
Rocky Mountain Spotted Fever
Colorado Tick Fever
Tickborne Relapsing Fever
All of these infections are difficult to diagnose and can range from mild to very serious. It is always best to take the necessary precautions to avoid these infections. Keep away from tick-infested areas, use the proper repellents and always check for ticks upon returning indoors.
If you suspect or know that you have been bitten by a tick, take proper steps to treat the bite.