Tuesday, April 28, 2015

New tick in town

Oh, boy--here we go. Tick-borne diseases are a major problem around the world. We have Lyme disease, Rocky Mountain spotted fever, tularemia--these can even be deadly and certainly can cause years of misery.

Now--Chinese and Univ of Maryland researchers have uncovered a brand-new-, ever-before-seen illness transmitted by ticks.

Check out Lancet Infectious Disease for the 411 on Anaplasma capra.

This is an entirely new species of bacteria. This has never been seen in humans before!

The scientists tested 477 patients in northeastern China who had been bitten by a tick over a month-long period in the spring of 2014. Twenty-eight percent had been infected by a new bacteria.

A. capra causes fever, headache, tiredness, dizziness, and muscle aches. Apparently the antibiotic doxycycline works on it.

This bug is often found in goats--thus the "capra" thing (as in Capricorn).

They think this bacteria is transmitted by the taiga tick.

A fifth of the world's population lives around taiga ticks.

Isn't science wonderful? Amazing what you learn. Check for ticks, I guess.

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