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New Tick-Borne Disease in Southern Connecticut

By Grace Merritt

www.ctmirror.org

Yale researchers have discovered a tick-borne illness so new to people in the United States that it doesn’t have a common name.

WestportNow.com Image
The actual size of the adult tick is only the size of an apple seed. The young deer tick is the size of a poppy seed. Photo by Geoffrey Attardo

The new bacterial infection is spread by the same deer tick that causes Lyme disease and causes a recurring fever, muscle aches, fatigue and, sometimes, a rash and neurological problems.

Using blood tests, researchers have found evidence of infection in 18 cases in southern Connecticut and Westchester County, N.Y. They estimate that the infection can found in 1 percent of the population in areas where Lyme disease is found.

There are currently no tests available for the illness. So far, patients have responded well to a short course of doxycycline, the antibiotic used to treat Lyme disease, said Peter Krause, a senior research scientist at Yale School of Public Health who worked on the study.

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