KY & TN - bad summer of ehrlichiosis - be careful!

Discussion in 'Chit Chat' started by victoria, Jul 23, 2009.

  1. victoria

    victoria New Member

    Boy overcomes tick-borne illness
    High fever one symptom of life-threatening disease

    One local mother hopes she can help keep other parents and their
    children from going through what she and her son faced recently.

    By Lisa Simpson Strange, Glasgow Daily Times, Glasgow, Kentucky

    July 22, 2009

    GLASGOW - One local mother hopes she can help keep other parents and
    their children from going through what she and her son faced recently.

    Valerie Lewis found a tick on her son, Parker, 2, on Father's Day. She
    removed it and didn't really think anything else about it.

    Three days later, Parker had developed a high fever and was lethargic.

    Valerie took her son to her local family physician, Dr. David German,
    who checked Parker's tonsils and ears, but couldn't find an immediate
    source of infection. He told her to wait a day and see if there were any

    Parker's high fever and lethargy continued the next day and he had a
    febrile seizure, which consists of convulsions brought on by a fever in
    infants and small children.

    Valerie took Parker to the emergency room at T.J. Samson Community
    Hospital and he was admitted.

    Parker was given Doxycycline, an antibiotic, but his white blood cell
    count kept dropping and Dr. German realized there was "something
    different about this one."

    Parker was diagnosed with Ehrlichiosis, an illness carried by the Lone
    Star tick that is found in the southeastern United States.


    "The doctors at Vanderbilt told me that Ehrlichiosis is especially bad
    this year in Tennessee and Kentucky, up 100-fold from last year,"
    Valerie said. The disease is potentially deadly (two children died from
    it while Parker was at Vanderbilt). It's important that parents think
    about tick bites if their child has an unexplained high fever in the
    summer with low white blood cell counts.

    Full story:
  2. Pippi1313

    Pippi1313 New Member

    Being a KY native, Mom has pulled many a tick off me & my bros!
    I'll warn my bros to keep an eye on their kids for this!

    BTW: How does this differ from Lyme?

    Thanks for the heads-up!

  3. victoria

    victoria New Member

    Ehrichiosis is a different bug, but is a common co-infection of lyme along with others - and similarly can go 'underground' in the body and can continue to cause problems that are not obviously connected or acute. So, I wonder how long this child was given abx for it.

    Ticks are dirty critters - think of all the different animals they feed off and how they can migrate via birds, deer, mice, people, etc... 95% of vector born diseases (carried by insects) are carried by ticks, not mosquitoes.

    I never saw them when I was a kid, but that was when deer were so scarce it was a really big event to see one, at least in the northern Chicago suburbs where I grew up. Plus, they were spraying DDT all over for mosquitoes anyway.