With peak summer weather upon us, there is an emerging concern over a new tick borne illness called BMD (borrelia miyamotoi disease). Two case reports published in the Annals of Internal Medicine this week describe patients with symptoms similar to Lyme disease (sudden onset of fever, shaking, chills, headache, loss of appetite) who tested negative for the bacteria causing Lyme disease. Upon further investigation a new bacteria, Borrelia miyamotoi, was identified as the cause of the infection. The patients made a full recovery after being treated with IV antibiotics, however there is a concern that the illness may become chronic. This is the fifth tick-borne disease to affect humans which raises the question: should we test for all tick-borne diseases when tick exposure is suspected? How can healthcare providers increase patient education about tick-borne illnesses?
For more information, please see the article in the Boston Globe.