Diseases that can be Transmitted by Ticks
Most tick bites do not result in disease, but it is a good idea to recognize and watch for the early symptoms of some of the more commonly encountered tick-transmitted diseases.
Tick-borne diseases of concern in Minnesota include:
- Lyme Disease
Lyme disease is a potentially serious bacterial infection affecting both humans and animals. The incidence of Lyme disease in Minnesota has been increasing in recent years.
Human anaplasmosis, formerly known as human granulocytic ehrlichiosis (HGE) is a bacterial disease that was first recognized in Minnesota in the early 1990s. It is transmitted to people by blacklegged ticks (deer ticks), the same ticks that transmit Lyme disease. HA is less common than Lyme disease, however.
Babesiosis is a protozoan infection that occurs infrequently in Minnesota. Approximately 20% of patients diagnosed with Babesiosis also have Lyme disease from the same blacklegged tick (deer tick) bite.
Mountain Spotted Fever (RMSF)
Rocky Mountain spotted fever is extremely rare in Minnesota, but isolated cases have been reported within the state.
CDC; Ehrlichiosis caused by Ehrlichia chaffeensis is found throughout much of south-eastern and south-central United States and is not a common disease in Minnesota at this time, although a small number of cases have been reported. Ehrlichiosis due to the Ehrlichia muris-like agent was first reported in 2009. Since then, low numbers of cases have been reported in Minnesota and Wisconsin. Attention: Non-MDH link
- Powassan (POW) Virus
Powassan (POW) virus is a tick-transmitted flavivirus.
Tick-Associated Rash Illness (STARI)
CDC; While STARI is not a known public health concern in Minnesota at this time, people who travel to the south-central United States may be at risk for the disease. Attention: Non-MDH link
Tularemia is a potentially serious illness that occurs naturally in the United States. It is caused by the bacterium Francisella tularensis found in animals (especially rodents, rabbits, and hares). Human cases of tularemia are sporadically reported in Minnesota.