Journal Article

Clinical and Epidemiological Features of Early Lyme Disease and Human Granulocytic Ehrlichiosis in Wisconsin

Edward A. Belongia, Kurt D. Reed, Paul D. Mitchell, Po-Huang Chyou, Nancy Mueller-Rizner, Michael F. Finkel and Martin E. Schriefer

in Clinical Infectious Diseases

Published on behalf of Infectious Diseases Society of America

Volume 29, issue 6, pages 1472-1477
Published in print December 1999 | ISSN: 1058-4838
Published online December 1999 | e-ISSN: 1537-6591 | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1086/313532
Clinical and Epidemiological Features of Early Lyme Disease and Human Granulocytic Ehrlichiosis in Wisconsin

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To compare clinical features and assess risk factors for human granulocytic ehrlichiosis (HGE) and early Lyme disease, we enrolled patients in a case-control study during the 1996 and 1997 tick seasons. Clinical and demographic characteristics were assessed for patients with laboratory-confirmed cases of HGE or Lyme disease, and risk factors were compared with those of matched control subjects. We identified 83 persons with Lyme disease, 27 with HGE, and 11 with apparent coinfection. Unsuspected Ehrlichia infection was identified in 8 (13%) of 60 patients with Lyme disease. Patients with HGE were older and more likely to have fever, chills, or dyspnea than were those with Lyme disease only. Most patients with apparent coinfection did not have hematologic abnormalities. In the risk factor analysis, tickborne illness was independently associated with rural residence and camping. The clinical spectrum of HGE overlaps that of Lyme disease, and physicians in areas of endemicity should consider both diseases in treating patients with a compatible rash or febrile illness.

Journal Article.  3964 words.  Illustrated.

Subjects: Infectious Diseases ; Immunology ; Public Health and Epidemiology ; Microbiology

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