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The management of Ixodes scapularis [deer tick] bites in the upper Midwest – Source: Wisconsin Medical Journal, April 2011

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By Elizabeth L Maloney, MD • • May 17, 2011

[Note: to read the full text of this important Wisconsin Medical Journal article free, click HERE. Lyme advocates suggest patients seeing a doctor for a tick bite print and share this article. Anaplasmosis is a tick-borne disease that, unlike Lyme, rarely involves a rash, and whose symptoms are very difficult to distinguish from other infectious and non-infectious diseases.]

Ixodes scapularis, commonly referred to as the deer tick, is the vector of Lyme disease and anaplasmosis; both illnesses are endemic to the upper Midwest.

Avoidance of I scapularis bites is the primary preventative strategy for both infections. Antibiotic prophylaxis has been demonstrated to prevent Lyme disease, but similar studies have not investigated antibiotic prophylaxis for the prevention of anaplasmosis.

Thus, recommendations regarding the management of I scapularis bites are focused on the prevention of Lyme disease.

This paper reviews the prevailing antibiotic prophylaxis recommendation for Lyme disease and the evidence supporting it.

Given the additional risk of acquiring anaplasmosis from an I scapularis bite in the upper Midwest, this paper proposes an alternative regimen for antibiotic prophylaxis in this region.

Source: Wisconsin Medical Journal, April 2011;110(2):78-81. PMID: 21560562 by Maloney EL. Partnership for Healing and Health, Wyoming, Minnesota. [Email:]

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