Babesiosis occurs mainly in the Northeast US and can infect both humans and animals.
The disease is caused by parasites in black-legged ticks or deer ticks (Ixodes scapularis) that infect red blood cells, causing flu-like symptoms and anemia in some people and no visible signs of infection in others.
Wildlife, especially rodents such as mice and shrews, can be infected with babesiosis and infect ticks but show no signs of disease.
Colorado tick fever
Colorado tick fever is a viral tick-borne disease occurring in mountainous regions of the western US at elevations 4,000 to 10,000 feet.
The disease is not life-threatening in humans and wildlife are not known to show any signs of infection.
Ehrlichiosis describes several bacterial diseases that affect animals and humans.
The disease is primarily transmitted by the bite of an infected lone-star tick (Amblyomma americanum) and occurs mostly in the southeastern and south-central US.
Animals may also experience clinical symptoms such as fever, anorexia, dramatic weight loss, anemia, swelling of tissues, and/or bleeding.
Lyme disease is the most common tick-borne disease in the US, occurring mostly in northeastern and north-central states.
The disease is transmitted to humans by the bite of infected black-legged tick or deer tick (Ixodes scapularis) and western black-legged tick (Ixodes pacificus).
In addition to flu-like symptoms, infected humans with the disease may also develop a red expanding circular rash, body aches, or swollen lymph nodes. Some may develop joint pain that can last for years after infection.
The white-footed mouse is the primary reservoir for the disease and shows no signs of illness when infected.
Powassan Virus is a rare but serious illness transmitted by black-legged ticks and other ticks of small rodents. The disease can progress from flu-like symptoms to encephalitis and is occasionally fatal. Cases have occurred in the Northeastern and upper Midwestern states. Cases occur primarily in the late spring, early summer, and mid-fall.
There are two different strains of Powassan virus; one is associated with the white-footed mouse and one is associated with woodchucks and their ticks.
Rocky Mountain spotted fever
Rocky Mountain spotted fever (RMSF) often causes flu-like symptoms and a characteristic rash that gives this disease its name. RMSF can be fatal in humans if not treated. Cases have been reported throughout most of the lower 48 states in the US.
RMSF is transmitted by the: American dog tick (Dermacentor variabilis), Rocky Mountain wood tick (Dermacentor andersoni), and Brown dog tick (Rhipicephalus sanguineus). Dogs are also very susceptible.
Tularemia is found throughout the US and is often caused by the bite of an infected tick or insect, such as a tick or deerfly.
Animals such as rabbits, beavers, muskrats, and other small rodents are particularly susceptible to the bacterium and can experience large die-offs when the population become infected. Infected humans may show flu-like symptoms and also diarrhea, joint pain, and dry cough. Tularemia symptoms in animals include fever, lethargy, incoordination, and sudden death.