Some facts about ticks and disease

July 03, 2012

Lyme disease is transmitted through bites of the black legged tick found in certain states of the northeast, north central and Pacific coast. Contrary to belief, Lyme disease is not transmitted through personal contact or by eating venison or other wild game. There has not been one documented case of sexual transmission of the disease.

Lyme disease bacteria can live in blood donated from a person with an active infection. Persons who are being treated for Lyme disease with antibiotics should not donate blood.

Other tick bites can be dangerous, as well.

The black legged tick that is responsible for transmitting Lyme disease is just one of many ticks that can and do bite, sometimes transmitting disease, but not Lyme disease.

For example, the lone star tick, prevalent in eastern and southeastern states, is a very aggressive species that can spread illnesses such as ehrlichiosis, tularemia and Southern Tick-Associated Rash Illness (STARI). STARI causes a red, expanding rash that can be mistaken for Lyme disease, but it is not associated with arthritis, neurological problems or chronic symptoms.

[SOURCE: Centers for Disease Control, “Lyme disease: frequently asked questions (FAQ),” updated March 7, 2012]

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Last Updated July 05, 2012