The term “ehrlichiosis” may be broadly applied to several different infections. Ehrlichia chaffeensis and Ehrlichia ewingii are transmitted by the lonestar tick in the southeastern and south-central United States. Symptoms of Ehrlichia infection typically develop 1-2 weeks after being bitten by an infected tick, and can resemble other tick borne diseases, such as Rocky Mountain spotted fever and anaplasmosis.​ Untreated or improperly treated infections can result in difficulty breathing and/or bleeding disorders.

Microscopic slides used during lonestar tick testing, showing a positive finding form ehrlichiosis

Signs and Symptoms​

  • Fever
  • Headache
  • Chills
  • Malaise
  • Muscle pain
  • Nausea / Vomiting / Diarrhea
  • Confusion
  • Conjunctival injection (red eyes)
  • Rash (in up to 60% of children, less than 30% of adults)

Intragranulocytic morula associated with Ehrlichia infection.

Image courtesy of the CDC.