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, people are unaware they have been bitten because the bite is usually painless.
  • Tick-borne Relapsing Fever is characterized by recurring fever and can include other symptoms like headache, muscle and joint pain, abdominal discomfort and 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, and 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.