First locally acquired case of anaplasmosis in Washington state
The Washington State Department of Health has reported the first locally acquired human case of the tick-borne disease anaplasmosis in a Washington resident.
A Whatcom County man in his 80s was hospitalized with severe disease and is now in recovery. He was likely bitten by an infected tick while working in the brush in Mason County.
Human cases of anaplasmosis have been identified in Washington before. However, officials say all previous cases involved travel outside of the state. Until now, only dogs have been diagnosed with locally acquired anaplasmosis in Washington.
Anaplasmosis usually causes mild to moderate symptoms in people, including fever, headache, muscle aches, and nausea, vomiting or loss of appetite.
Symptoms typically begin one to two weeks after being bitten by an infected tick. The disease is treatable with antibiotics. If treatment is delayed, or if a person has other pre-existing medical conditions, anaplasmosis can cause severe illness or death.
In Washington, the disease is spread by the western blacklegged tick, which can also carry Lyme disease. Officials say this tick is mainly found in the western part of the state as well as along the eastern slopes of the Cascades.