Anaplasmosis - a dangerous disease that is transmitted by ticks

The first case of anaplasmosis in Europe was reported in 2001. The diagnosis was made in Slovenia.

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Anaplasmosis is a febrile illness caused by gram-negative bacteria Anaplasma phagocytophilum. Infection occurs when bitten by an infected tick from the family Ixodes. The bacteria then gets into the bloodstream and from there to the bone marrow. It multiplies in granulocytes and impairs the activity of neutrophytes (cells of the immune system).

1. Symptoms of anaplasmosis

The disease begins suddenly. The main symptom is fever (above 38 ° C). There may also be severe headache, muscle and joint pain, cough, inflammation of the upper respiratory tract, malaise. Other symptoms of anaplasmosis include:

  • vomiting, nausea,
  • diarrhea,
  • enlargement of the spleen or liver
  • enlargement of the lymph nodes,
  • encephalitis (very rare).

The vast majority of cases of anaplasmosis are asymptomatic, hence many cases are undiagnosed.

The disease is moderately severe, but the appearance of symptoms of anaplasmosis is an indication for hospitalization.

Anaplasmosis is a tick borne disease (123RF)

In order to make a diagnosis, laboratory tests are carried out. Blood counts show thrombocytopenia, neutropenia (decreased number of granulocytes) and lymphopenia (decreased number of lymphocytes in peripheral blood). Serological examination, in turn, confirms the presence of specific antibodies against AND. phagocytophilum in blood.

The disease is differentiated from spotted fever, encephalomyelitis, and malaria.

Antibiotics are used to treat anaplasmosis. The drug of choice is doxycycline, and in the case of children and pregnant women - rifampicin.

When the disease is not treated, it can lead to the development of serious complications, including renal and heart failure. Elderly people, patients with immunodeficiency and immunosuppressive treatment require special medical care.

Tick-borne diseases are a common fear. No wonder, since many infectious diseases transmitted by ticks are very dangerous. The most commonly diagnosed include: Lyme disease and tick-borne encephalitis.

Lyme disease is loud in the media not only because of the summer season, which is conducive to infection, but also because more and more famous people sincerely admit that they are struggling with tick-borne disease. Several years ago, Wojciech Jagielski, a radio and television journalist, and Tadeusz Drozda, a satirist and actor, said about it publicly.

In 2005, Eugeniusz Priwieziencew, a Polish film and theater actor, died of complications from Lyme disease.

A few months ago, Barbara Kurdej-Szatan informed her fans about Lyme disease.

Foreign stars also struggled with tick-borne disease, incl. Avril Lavigne and Ashley Olsen.

2. Protection against ticks

Adequate prophylaxis can prevent tick-borne diseases to some extent. Its most important element is covering the skin with clothes during a stay in forests and meadows (long sleeves, a cap with a visor, clothes in bright colors, shoes with a high uppers).

It is also worth using tick repellants. Suitable repellants can be purchased at the pharmacy.

The skin should be carefully inspected after each return from potentially tick-endangered areas. Particular attention should be paid to the areas covered with delicate skin - groin, skin folds, auricles, because this is where ticks most eagerly attach.

If you notice a tick in the skin, remove it as soon as possible. How to do it? Grasp the arachnid with narrow forceps (e.g. tweezers) as close to the skin as possible and pull it out along the puncture axis. The tick must not be twisted out and should not be lubricated with anything.

Protection against ticks should also be applied to domestic animals that may bring arachnids into the apartment.

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