An Introduction to the Different Types of Tick Diseases

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Can you believe that there are more than 850 different tick species around the world?

Many of us are familiar with Lyme disease ticks, but there are lots of other dangerous ticks that we should be on the lookout for. This is why it’s crucial to always inspect your body after you’ve spent time outdoors in a woodsy area.

Being diligent about these body checks can help you prevent all kinds of uncomfortable or even dangerous tick diseases. Read on to learn about the most common tick diseases in the United States.

Lyme Disease Tick Bite

Which ticks carry Lyme disease? Black-legged ticks are the species that can infect you with Lyme disease, but they need to be infected by the Borrelia burgdorferi or Borrelia mayonii bacteria to make you sick as well. Most people who catch Lyme disease live in the Northeast, upper Midwest, and the West Coast.

The first symptom of this tick disease tends to be a rash at the site of the bite that looks like a red bullseye, but some people with Lyme disease don’t develop this symptom. Other issues you should watch for include fever, joint pain, exhaustion, and headaches.

Rocky Mountain Spotted Fever

What is a tick disease that isn’t Lyme disease? Lyme disease may have the biggest spotlight, but there are plenty of other diseases caused by ticks like Rocky Mountain spotted fever. This illness is even more dangerous since it can lead to paralysis or limb amputation without medical intervention.

Rocky Mountain wood ticks, American dog ticks, or brown dog ticks infected with the Rickettsia rickettsii bacteria cause this condition. The tick bite tends to produce a red, splotchy rash and people can experience nausea, muscle aches, fever, loss of appetite, and headaches.


Anaplasmosis is also caused by black-legged ticks, but they need to be infected with the Anaplasma phagocytophilum bacteria. Since it’s the same tick that can cause Lyme disease, people in the same regions need to be cautious of anaplasmosis.

The symptoms of anaplasmosis are similar to Lyme disease, except there’s no red bullseye rash. This disease attacks your red and white blood cells, so it’s important to get tested as soon as you notice symptoms.


Ehrlichiosis has the potential to cause severe, lifelong problems if it’s not caught and treated early. Lone star and black-legged ticks infected with the Ehrlichia chaffeensis or E. muris eauclairensis transmit this disease.

The symptoms are the same as other tick diseases. Taking doxycycline should clear the infection.

Have You Heard of These Tick Diseases?

As you can see, there are more tick diseases than Lyme disease. Now that you’ve learned more about some of the most common tick diseases, you can be more careful when you’re outside.

Many tick diseases cause unpleasant symptoms like joint pain and headaches even after the infection is cleared. If you’d like to feel your best in your body, you should consider getting acupuncture. Contact us to schedule your appointment.

Meet Our Expert: Deborah Farley

Deborah FarleyFounder of Acupuncture Works,LLC in Lynchburg Virginia. Deborah is licensed by the Commonwealth of Virginia Board of Medicine as a Licensed Acupuncturist (L. Ac.).

She is also licensed by the State of Florida as a Doctor of Oriental Medicine (DOM). Deborah is a Diplomate of the National Certification Commission for Acupuncture and Oriental Medicine (NCCAOM).

She graduated from the East West College of Natural Medicine with a Master’s Degree in Oriental Medicine and a Bachelor’s Degree of Professional Health Sciences.

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