Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Study Shows Tick-Borne Disease Creates Telling Pattern On X-Rays

Date:
August 19, 1998
Source:
University Of North Carolina At Chapel Hill
Summary:
Many Americans know ticks can transmit Rocky Mountain spotted fever and Lyme disease, but relatively few realize that the blood-sucking pests can trigger other dangerous illnesses such as tick paralysis, relapsing fever, Q fever, tularemia and certain forms of encephalitis.

CHAPEL HILL, N.C. -- Many Americans know ticks can transmit Rocky Mountain spotted fever and Lyme disease, but relatively few realize that the blood-sucking pests can trigger other dangerous illnesses such as tick paralysis, relapsing fever, Q fever, tularemia and certain forms of encephalitis.

Related Articles


Now, a University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill medical scientist says both doctors and the public also should be aware of a tick-borne infection called ehrlichiosis, the cause of which in the United States was not recognized until 1986.

In studies on three North Carolina children who contracted ehrlichiosis, including one who died in 1996, Dr. Lynn A. Fordham has discovered the illness shows up on chest X-rays as increased fluid in the lungs. That finding may help doctors diagnose the condition earlier and, as a result, possibly treat it more effectively.

"Ehrlichiosis is usually mild with flu-like symptoms but can be rapidly fatal," said Fordham, assistant professor of radiology at the UNC-CH School of Medicine. "The infection should be considered when diagnosing acutely ill children with possible tick exposure and X-rays showing increased lung fluids not caused by a heart problem."

A report on the research will appear in the November issue of the American Journal of Roentgenology. Besides Fordham, UNC-CH authors are Drs. Charles J. Chung and Barbara B. Specter, assistant professors of radiology; David F. Merten, clinical professor of radiology; and David L. Ingram, professor of pediatrics.

"Ehrlichiosis is treatable, but needs to be diagnosed as rapidly as possible," Fordham said. "Doxycycline, an antibiotic, is effective, but doctors don't like to use it unless they have to because it can permanently discolor children's teeth."

X-raying patients transferred to intensive care units may give a quicker indication of the infection than detailed microscopic studies can, she said. Unfortunately, what is seen on X-rays is not unique to ehrlichiosis, but also occurs in other serious conditions such as organ failure, severe burns and drug reactions. Still, a few hours head start might mean the difference between life and death for a gravely ill child in an intensive care unit.

"The chance of getting any of these diseases can be reduced by decreasing exposure to ticks," Fordham said. "During tick season, people should wear light clothing, use insect repellents and check themselves and their children for ticks after being outdoors. If someone is bitten, record that information on a calendar and be sure to tell medical personnel about it if he or she develops a fever and flu-like symptoms within a few weeks."

Ehrlichiosis was first described in Algerian dogs in 1935, and Japanese scientists found that a bacterium caused a human form of the illness in 1956. Thirty years later, U.S. investigators discovered the first case of a different variety, human monocytic ehrlichiosis, at Fort Chafee, Ark. That infection chiefly occurs in the central and southeastern United States, while still another form, human granulocytic ehrlichiosis, chiefly is found in north central states.

Dog, deer and Lone Star ticks can carry ehrlichiosis bacteria, which infect and kill white blood cells, Forham said. Keeping leaves raked and bushes trimmed around homes can minimize shelter for mice and other small mammals to help keep down the tick population.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by University Of North Carolina At Chapel Hill. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Cite This Page:

University Of North Carolina At Chapel Hill. "Study Shows Tick-Borne Disease Creates Telling Pattern On X-Rays." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 19 August 1998. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/1998/08/980819081124.htm>.
University Of North Carolina At Chapel Hill. (1998, August 19). Study Shows Tick-Borne Disease Creates Telling Pattern On X-Rays. ScienceDaily. Retrieved December 20, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/1998/08/980819081124.htm
University Of North Carolina At Chapel Hill. "Study Shows Tick-Borne Disease Creates Telling Pattern On X-Rays." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/1998/08/980819081124.htm (accessed December 20, 2014).

Share This


More From ScienceDaily



More Health & Medicine News

Saturday, December 20, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

The Best Tips to Curb Holiday Carbs

The Best Tips to Curb Holiday Carbs

Buzz60 (Dec. 19, 2014) It's hard to resist those delicious but fattening carbs we all crave during the winter months, but there are some ways to stay satisfied without consuming the extra calories. Vanessa Freeman (@VanessaFreeTV) has the details. Video provided by Buzz60
Powered by NewsLook.com
Sierra Leone Bikers Spread the Message to Fight Ebola

Sierra Leone Bikers Spread the Message to Fight Ebola

AFP (Dec. 19, 2014) More than 100 motorcyclists hit the road to spread awareness messages about Ebola. Nearly 7,000 people have now died from the virus, almost all of them in west Africa, according to the World Health Organization. Video provided by AFP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Researchers Test Colombian Village With High Alzheimer's Rates

Researchers Test Colombian Village With High Alzheimer's Rates

AFP (Dec. 19, 2014) In Yarumal, a village in N. Colombia, Alzheimer's has ravaged a disproportionately large number of families. A genetic "curse" that may pave the way for research on how to treat the disease that claims a new victim every four seconds. Duration: 02:42 Video provided by AFP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Double-Amputee Becomes First To Move Two Prosthetic Arms With His Mind

Double-Amputee Becomes First To Move Two Prosthetic Arms With His Mind

Buzz60 (Dec. 19, 2014) A double-amputee makes history by becoming the first person to wear and operate two prosthetic arms using only his mind. Jen Markham has the story. Video provided by Buzz60
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:

Breaking News:

Strange & Offbeat Stories


Health & Medicine

Mind & Brain

Living & Well

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile: iPhone Android Web
Follow: Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe: RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins