Florida Succumbs To Yet Another Deadly Disease. What’s happening?

Florida: It seems the pandemic was not enough for the people of Florida as a separate deadly disease has started spreading around Florida.

Ehrlichiosis, a tick-borne disease, is proliferating across Florida as health officials issue warning about a potentially fatal disease emerging in the US state.

Patients, if not diagnosed with early symptoms and goes untreated, can die from organ failure, warned health officials.

Ehrlichiosis, the most common tick-borne disease in Florida, is being grossly underreported in the U.S., with up to 99% of infections slipping through the statistical cracks, warned the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).

Credit – medicalnewstoday.com

This novel invasive tick species is capable of transmitting several severe diseases posing an emerging threat to human and animal health, according to a pair of reports issued Thursday. The species is found widely on pets, livestock, wildlife, and even people. However, as per a report from the CDC, there is no evidence that the tick has spread pathogens to humans, domestic animals, or wildlife in the United States,

Although diseases like Lyme disease, another tick-borne illness are common in Florida, the public is yet to get familiar with ehrlichiosis.

The symptoms usually appear within two weeks of being bitten. The most common symptoms of the disease include:

  • Fever with chills
  • Headache
  • Malaise
  • Muscle pain
  • Gastrointestinal symptoms (nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, anorexia)
  • Impaired mental capacity
  • Rash (more commonly reported among children)

CDC said that only a few people develop all of the above symptoms but the combination of symptoms and their severity is different from person to person; ehrlichiosis can be fatal in most cases.

Credit – journals.asm.org

Ehrlichiosis has reported major casualties of death in Florida

Worries arise about the increasing number of ehrlichiosis cases in Florida. The cases skyrocketed from less than ten as reported a year in the early 2000s to over 30 cases in 2019. This indicates the gravity of ehrlichiosis. Please do not take it lightly as delay in treatment can result in life-long health complications and death, warns health officials

Counties at greatest risks of the tick-borne illness are Volusia, Wakulla, Putnam, St.Johns and Flagler.

According to Floria Health Government, older stages of ticks (nymphs and adults) can feed on humans and larger animals. Spring and summer are the most common seasons for tickborne diseases to occur in northern states, but tick-borne diseases can occur throughout the year in Florida.

Tick bites should be dealt with supreme caution. If hit by a tick, it is advised to remove it abruptly from the skin and consult a doctor immediately. Also, one should learn about the common safety measures for removing the tick from your skin.

Measures to Prevent Tick Bites:

  • Use a repellent that contains 20-30% DEET
  • Apply permethrin to clothing and gear
  • Walk in the center of paths and trails
  • Perform regular tick checks on yourself, your family, and your pets
  • Shower soon after being in tick habitat
  • Use veterinarian-recommended products to keep ticks off pets
  • Keep grass, shrubs, and trees close to your residence trimmed

 

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