Other Important Tick-borne Diseases

In the United States, ticks can carry several additional pathogens that cause human disease, including:


  • A bacterial infection spread by the bite of an infected deer tick
  • First symptoms typically begin 1-2 weeks after bite. Symptoms are similar to the flu.
  • Can be serious if it is not treated correctly
    • Serious complications include: bleeding, kidney failure, neurological problems


  • Parasites that infect blood cells transmitted by the bite of infected deer ticks
  • Can cause severe, life-threatening disease in individuals who: do not have a spleen, have a compromised immune system, or are elderly
  • Symptoms are flu-like and serious complications can include: low blood pressure, anemia and even death
  • Babesiosis can also be fatal in dogs


  • Bacterial infection spread by the bite of infected dog ticks and lone star ticks
  • Symptoms include: fever, headache and chills
  • There can be serious symptoms including: difficulty breathing and bleeding disorders

Rocky Mountain spotted fever

  • Potentially fatal bacterial infection spread by the bite of infected American dog ticks, wood ticks, and brown dog ticks
  • Symptoms include: fever, rash and abdominal pain

Characteristic rash associated with Rocky Mountain spotted fever
Photo Credit: CDC1


  • A serious bacterial infection spread by the bite of infected American dog ticks
  • Symptoms vary, ranging from mild to life-threatening
  • All forms of the disease are accompanied by fever
  • Can include ulcers on the skin, especially at the site of the tick bite, and swollen or painful lymph glands

Skin ulcer caused by Tularemia infection
Photo Credit: CDC2

Photo Content Providers:

  1. CDC
  2. CDC/Emory University, Dr. Sellers