What Is the Difference Between Lyme Disease and Tick Fever?

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Lyme disease and tick fever are both the result of tick bites and share similar symptoms, but they have little else in common. To avoid both infections, apply insect repellent and wear long-sleeved shirts, long pants, sturdy shoes and a hat.

Types

  • Lyme disease is a bacterial infection spread by deer ticks. Colorado tick fever, also known as Mountain tick fever, is a viral disease.

Symptoms

  • Lyme disease can start with a red rash, flu-like symptoms or joint pain, progressing to include severe headaches, arthritis, cardiac abnormalities and central nervous system disorders. Tick fever symptoms include fever, chills, headache, muscular and skeletal pain and malaise.

Transmission

  • Ticks transmit both Lyme disease and tick fever. In Lyme disease, the culprits are the deer tick and western black-legged tick, while the wood tick transmits the tick fever virus.

Geography

  • Lyme disease is prevalent the Northeast and upper Midwest. Colorado tick fever occurs primarily in the Rocky Mountain region, as well as British Columbia and Alberta in Canada.

Treatment

  • Antibiotics are the treatment for Lyme disease. Treatment within the first three weeks almost always results in a cure, but the cure rate drops as the disease enters its later phases. With tick fever, no treatment exists for the virus itself. Instead, treatment focuses on managing the symptoms--analgesics and acetaminophen for fever and pain.

References

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