Human Granulocytic Ehrlichiosis
Human granulocytic ehrlichiosis (HGE) was recognized as a human disease in Missouri in 1999. Additional cases in the U.S. have been reported in patients with a weak immune system. The parasite previously was known only as a cause of disease in dogs and other canines.
- A bacterium with the scientific name Ehrlichia ewingii.
- It is an intracellular parasite that undergoes development within white blood cells, especially granulocytes.
- Documented cases have occurred in Missouri and the southern U.S.
- Fever, headache, joint pain, and muscle ache.
- Infections usually are mild, but severe cases can result in death in susceptible humans.
- Coyotes, other wild canines, and dogs.
- Amblyomma americanum, lone star tick.
- Rhipicephalus sanguineus, brown dog tick.
- From infected ticks (nymphs and adults) to humans via their bite.
- From infected tick larvae to nymphs to adults via transstadial transmission.
- NOTE: there is no human-to-human transmission.
- Symptoms, together with onset in late spring into summer.
- Antibiotic prescribed by a physician.