Tick-borne Diseases

Tick-Borne Disease Facts

  • There are 90 tick species in the U.S. and five that carry disease.checking for tick-borne disease
  • Ticks require blood to survive, they most commonly feed on white-tailed deer and other small animals.
  • There are a couple of tick species that prefer dogs as their host. Always remember to check your pooch after rolling in the grass or especially being around a wooded area. You can protect your yard, too!
  • Ticks are arachnids. They are a relative of spiders and mites. They often get mistaken for being an insect.
  • Ticks don’t just bite and leave, they bury their teeth in and attach themselves tightly to their host for days if undetected. It can take only 24 hours to transmit Lyme Disease, so make sure you find and remove them quickly.

Common Tick-Borne Disease Types

Lyme Disease

This is the most common U.S. tick-borne disease with around 300,000 cases per year. Lyme disease attacks the nervous system. Symptoms start out as a red ring rash, headache, fever and inflamed lymph nodes. The rash can then spread and the disease symptoms can worsen if not caught and treated early. Those include joint pain and affect the heart, brain and eyes. This occurs from ticks in the Northeast and the upper Midwest regions of the United States.

Rocky Mountain Spotted Fever

RMSF is transmitted by the American dog tick. This is a bacteria infection that will show up anywhere from two days after a tick bite, to two weeks. If caught early, doctors prescribe an antibiotic and no other harm is done, however if left untreated, serious illness can occur. Symptoms start out as a fever, headache, vomiting, red eyes, and sore muscles. A red spotted rash often times appears, next, around ankles and wrists. This is most common in the Midwest and Southeast regions of the United States.


The lone star and blacklegged tick species carry this tick-borne disease. It is most common in the Eastern and Southcentral regions of the U.S. A variety of symptoms can occur and are often times different for each person. Typically, these start about 5 days after a bite and can include fever, chills, cough, headache, muscle pain and mid-section and arm rash (most seen in children).


This occurs from ticks in the Northeast and the upper Midwest regions of the United States. Babesiosis is a parasite that attacks the blood. If infected, a person may feel flu like-symptoms along with low blood pressure, anemia, and liver or kidney problems. Both anti-parasitic drugs and antibiotics are used to treat it.

Colorado Tick Fever

The Rocky Mountain wood tick transmits this virus. These ticks live in the Western U.S. If infected, symptoms can occur within one day to two weeks. Symptoms are flu like and can also include sore throat, stomach pain/vomiting and rash. People will often have multiple days of fever, feel better, then have another stint of the fever. Most recover fully but may still feel weak for a few weeks. It is rare for the illness to become more serious.

To get additional information about tick-borne disease, check out the CDC website.