Nashville Tick Borne Illnesses

Phage Therapy (INPT)
Phage Therapy (INPT)

Everything You Need To Know About Tick-Borne Illness In Nashville, Tennessee

Though a mild winter is mostly something to celebrate, it does bring ticks out of hiding a little earlier than usual. While ticks don’t usually become active until mid-April, it is predicted that this year, tick-borne illnesses in Nashville will begin to pop up in early March. Keep reading to prepare yourself by learning how to prevent and treat tick-borne illnesses in Nashville!

Nashville Ticks

Nashville is home to over 15 different tick breeds, but those most commonly found in this region of the United States are the deer tick, the lone star tick, and the dog tick. Located in heavily wooded areas and tall grasses, ticks typically crawl up from the ground as opposed to dropping from high tree branches. While young ticks start out at about the size of a poppy seed, adult ticks can grow to be the size of an apple seed, depending on the species.

Nashville’s Tick-Borne Illnesses

As stated above, the most commonly found ticks in Nashville, Tennessee are the deer tick, the lone star tick, and the dog tick. These ticks are responsible for causing the following tick-borne illnesses:

Rocky Mountain Spotted Fever (RMSF) is the most concerning illness caused by ticks in Nashville. Carried by the American dog tick, the Rocky Mountain wood tick, and the brown dog tick, RMSF is a serious bacterial infection that can be difficult to diagnose. The most common symptoms include fever, headaches, joint pain, fatigue, and abdominal pain. A rash may also be present, but this isn’t always the case. Symptoms appear similar to the flu, so unless a tick bite is noticed initially, doctors often misdiagnose RMSF.

Alpha-Gal is a sugar molecule transferred to humans by the lone star tick’s bite. It can cause a red-meat allergy that is not present until after a person becomes infected, and patients that experience it do not know they are infected until they experience the allergic reaction to red meat. The allergic reaction may take the form of hives, swelling, wheezing, shortness of breath, a runny nose, abdominal pain, diarrhea, vomiting, headaches, and even anaphylaxis, which can be deadly.

Southern Tick Associated Rash Illness occurs occasionally after a lone star tick bite and presents as a bulls-eye shaped rash, similar to the one associated with Lyme disease, seven days after the initial tick bite. The rash may also be accompanied by fatigue, fever, headache, muscle pain, and joint pain. The cause of STARI is unknown but since it is so similar to Lyme disease, it is often treated as such.

Ehrlichiosis is a less common bacterial infection associated with tick bites. The condition causes fever, chills, headache, muscle aches, and occasionally an upset stomach.

Additional Tick-Borne Illnesses

Even if you live in Nashville now, it is always possible to have contracted a tick-borne disease elsewhere. Here is a list of other illnesses associated with ticks.

Lyme disease is not often contracted in Nashville, Tennessee but is a big concern in both Northern and Western states. Following a bite from a black-legged tick, initial symptoms of Lyme disease include an oval, bulls-eye shaped rash around the bite along with headaches, body pains, and fever. Oftentimes, however, these initial symptoms develop into a more serious, chronic condition over time and require extensive efforts to return the body to its natural rhythms. If you are suffering from lingering Lyme disease, please contact our treatment center in Nashville, Tennessee at 615-680-9918

Anaplasmosis is transmitted to humans by ticks bites from the black-legged tick, most commonly found in the northeastern and upper midwestern regions of the United States, as well as the western black-legged tick found on the Pacific coast.

Babesiosis is caused by microscopic parasites that infect the body’s red blood cells. Most cases are caused by Babesia microti, which is also transmitted by the black-legged tick and primarily found in the northeast and upper midwest.

Borrelia mayonii infection is caused by black-legged ticks in Minnesota, Wisconsin, and other upper midwestern regions of the United States. Borrelia mayonii is the only black-legged tick species besides B. burgdorferi known to cause Lyme disease in North America.

Borrelia miyamotoi infection has recently been described as a cause of tick-borne illnesses in the United States. Transmitted by the black-legged tick, it has a range similar to that of Lyme disease.

Bourbon virus has been identified in a limited number of patients in the United States, primarily in the midwestern and southern regions.

Colorado tick fever is transmitted by the Rocky Mountain wood tick and occurs, as the name suggests, in the Rocky Mountains at elevations of 4,000 to 10,500 feet.

Heartland virus cases have been identified in the Midwestern and southern regions of the United States. They are thought to be caused by the lone star tick, so these cases may soon become more prevalent in Nashville, Tennesee

Powassan disease is transmitted by both the black-legged tick and the groundhog tick, most often in the northeastern and Great Lakes regions of the US.

Rickettsia parkeri rickettsiosis is transmitted by the Gulf Coast tick.

Tickborne relapsing fever (TBRF) is transmitted through the bites of infected soft ticks and has been reported in the following fifteen states: Arizona, California, Colorado, Idaho, Kansas, Montana, Nevada, New Mexico, Ohio, Oklahoma, Oregon, Texas, Utah, Washington, and Wyoming. It is commonly associated with sleeping in rustic cabins and/or vacation homes.

Tularemia is transmitted to humans via the dog tick, the wood tick, and the lone star tick. It can be found across the United States, including Nashville, Tennessee, but it is less common than those mentioned above.

364D rickettsiosis is a new disease transmitted via the Pacific Coast tick in California.

Preventing Tick-Borne Illnesses

In order to protect yourself and your loved ones from tick-borne illnesses, be sure to take the following precautions when spending large amounts of time outside in wooded areas—including your own backyard!

  • Wear protective clothing, tall socks, and closed-toed shoes.
  • Educate your loved ones on common ticks in your area so that they can recognize them immediately.
  • Use rose geranium essential oil to deter ticks from biting you. A drop will do you!
  • Get in the habit of checking for ticks at the end of each day, paying special attention to ears, belly buttons, and scalps!
  • Mow your yard regularly to and move playsets and patios away from dense brush, tall grasses, and wooded areas where moisture accumulates.
  • Prioritize sunny outdoor activities over shaded, wooded ones. While hiking, walk in the middle of the trail instead of through the underbrush.

Treating Tick-Borne Illnesses

If you have already contracted a tick-borne illness and are searching for a doctor that can help you get your life back, please contact us. We have helped thousands of people suffering from not only Lyme disease, but also all forms of tick-borne illness worldwide. Our doctors understand that treatment should be given on an individualized basis because each and every body is different. We will not only believe in your symptoms’ validity but also do everything we can to address them so that you can continue living your best life.

If you are ready to schedule treatment with us, please call our Patient Care Coordinator at 615-680-9918 or click here to register for a consultation.

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