New Tick-Borne Disease Hits Hard

Afflicts up to 100,000 New Yorkers


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A disease spread by deer ticks has infected over 100,000 New Yorkers since the state began tracking it. The infection closely resembles Lyme disease, leading to a host of problems with treatment and diagnosis.

“The problem is that the diagnosis is going to be missed, because doctors aren’t going to think about Borrelia miyamotoi because they don’t know about it,” Dr. Brian Fallon of Columbia University told CBS News. “And number two, if they test for Lyme disease, it will test negative, and the rash won’t be there.”

Patients with the illness develop fever, headache, and flu-like symptoms without the rash typically associated with Lyme disease. No test has yet been developed for the bug, but the same antibiotics used to treat Lyme appear to work—if started early enough.

Read more about ticks and Lyme disease in Rise of the Tick.