Ehrlichiosis is the general name used to describe several bacterial diseases that affect animals and humans. Human ehrlichiosisis a disease caused by at least three different ehrlichial species in the United States: Ehrlichia chaffeensis, Ehrlichia ewingii, and a third Ehrlichia species provisionally called Ehrlichia muris-like (EML).
Ehrlichiae are transmitted to humans by the bite of an infected tick. The lone star tick (Amblyomma americanum) is the primary vector of both Ehrlichia chaffeensis and Ehrlichia ewingii in the United States. Typical symptoms include: fever, headache, chills, malaise, muscle pain, nausea/vomiting/diarrhea, confusion, conjunctival injection (red and eyes) and rash. Usually, these symptoms occur within 1-2 weeks following a tick bite. Ehrlichios is is diagnosed based on symptoms, clinical presentation, and later confirmed with specialized laboratory tests. The first line treatment for adults and children of all ages is doxycycline. Ehrlichiosis and other tickborne diseases can be prevented.
To learn more about this disease, including symptoms, diagnosis and treatment, as well as statistics and epidemiology, visit the Ehrlichiosis section of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention website.