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Six reported cases of tick-borne disease prompts Onondaga County health warning

Fairfax County

Onondaga County health officials are warning central New Yorkers to protect themselves against tick bites, not just because of Lyme disease, but due to another tick-borne ailment that’s increasing in numbers.

Health Commissioner Dr. Indu Gupta said there has been a jump in the number of cases of anaplasmosis, caused by a bacteria that can be spread by the bite of an infected tick.

“A total of three was reported over the last five years,” Gupta said. “And this year there have been six reported cases. That’s what [sic] we thought it would be important for people to know, because everybody’s venturing out.”

Gupta said measures to prevent tick bites become more important than ever, due to the emergence of this disease. She said this reinforces warnings to central New Yorkers about taking precautions when venturing in areas ticks are common.

“Make sure you check yourself out,” Gupta said. “When I go out, I check my shoes, legs and anything else, because I am bringing that inside.”  

Oswego County also reported its first case on anaplasmosis last week. Anaplasmosis is different from Lyme, because there is no telltale bullseye rash, but other symptoms, are similar. One to two weeks after being bitten, symptoms include fever, chills, body aches and headaches. It can lead to more serious illnesses as well. The treatment is antibiotics.

Ellen produces news reports and features related to events that occur in the greater Syracuse area and throughout Onondaga County. Her reports are heard regularly in regional updates in Morning Edition and All Things Considered.