Although people often associate the danger of ticks with Lyme disease, The CIUSSS de l’Estrie – CHUS is warning the public of an unusually high concentration of anaplasmosis, another tick-borne bacterial infection, in the Eastern Townships. Specifically, the regional public health department has logged six cases in the Bromont area, representing the first cluster of this kind in Quebec.
Anaplasmosis is carried by the same type of ticks as Lyme disease, but is characterized by
• fever and chills
• muscle pain
• nausea, vomiting, and diarrhea (in 20 per cent of cases)
• and skin rash in rare cases
Unlike Lyme disease, there is currently no preventative treatment for anaplasmosis after being bitten, and an infection is still possible even if the tick is removed within 24 hours of the initial bite. As a result, the public health department is strongly encouraging careful prevention measures for those working or spending time outside shuch as wearing covering clothing, using DEET or icaridine-based insect repellent and staying on trails.
Anyone who discovers that they have been bitten by a tick is encouraged to remove it using fine-tipped tweezers, place the tick inside of a container, note the date and location where the bite took place, and call 811.