Distribution of key tickborne diseases 2010. Courtesy of the CDC.
Tickborne infections are the most important of vectorborne diseases in the United States (US). A number of pathogenic organisms including bacteria, viruses, and protozoa can be transmitted by ticks. Most of these diseases have a distinctive geographic area related to the tick(s) vector(s), as demonstrated in the image of the US map provided by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).
Because tickborne diseases are so difficult to diagnose, deaths and morbidity occur. Symptoms are non-specific and mimic influenza and other viral illnesses. When diagnosed, bacterial tickborne diseases can be treated effectively with doxycycline. Many of these diseases are increasing in incidence and approximately only ten percent are identified and reported to the CDC or to a public health department.
2003-2010 tickborne disease cases. Graphic courtesy of the CDC.