Tick-Borne Relapsing Fever

  • Tick-borne Relapsing Fever is a bacterial infection and is known for recurring symptoms. 
  • The two types of recurring fevers are Tick-borne relapsing fever (TBRF) and Louse-borne relapsing fever (LBRF).
  • TBRF is most common in the western United States in mountainous areas.
  • LBRF is more common to refugee areas in the world.
  • These relapsing fevers are caused by bacterium species borellia, hermsii, borellia parkerii, or borellia turicatae.
  • Humans are infected by the bite of a tick, more commonly at night.
  • Ticks will feed for up to 30 minutes on the body before falling off. Often times, people are unaware they have been bitten because the bite is usually painless.

Tick-borne Relapsing Fever is characterized by:

  • Recurring fever
  • Headache
  • Muscle and joint pain
  • Abdominal discomfort
  • Vomiting

These symptoms tend to occur about a week after being bitten.

Relapse is usually about 3 times but has been known to have as many as 10 among patients that go untreated.

  • Blood tests can determine if the Tick-borne Relapsing Fever bacteria is present.
  • Antibiotics will help symptoms go away faster and usually last about 7 days.
  • Avoid rodents and other animals common for carrying the disease.
  • Homes and cabins should be rodent-proof and professionals should be called to remove any rodent or tick infestation. 
  • Cabins in heavily wooded areas are especially at risk.

Be cautious handling small animals like: 

  • Rodents
  • Squirrels
  • Rats
  • Rabbits
  • Chipmunks
  • Mice

Ticks will feed on these warm-blooded animals and consequently infect them with the bacteria.

Other Facts
  • Ticks will feed on any warm-blooded animal including humans.
  • The presence of bacteria tends to be higher in women that are pregnant and can lead to a worse infection.