Earth Connection is a school of primitive skills and wilderness survival located in Northern Virginia and North Carolina (Raleigh/Durham area) that has been in existence for over a decade. Our hands-on classes are reasonably priced because we don't believe in big price tags for primitive skills. That's just not natural!

Saturday, July 21, 2007

Risk Management Update - Ehrlichiosis Warning

Ehrlichiosis chaffeensis, is an acute disease of humans and animals caused by bacteria called Ehrlichia that attack white blood cells. The bacteria are transmitted to humans by the bite of an infected tick--deer tick, the dog tick and the Lone Star tick. Ehrlichiosis is found in almost any area of the United States and in many foreign countries as well. In fact, it is probably on EC's property as evident by Hue and Jamey's dog, Chagi-ya, being diagnosed with the disease.

The first human case in the U.S. was reported in 1986 and since then more are being reported every year. If you have ehrlichiosis you would generally pay a visit to your physician in the first week of the illness--the incubation period is about 5-10 days after the tick bite. Initial symptoms include the sudden onset of moderate to high fever, headache, malaise, and muscle aches. Other signs and symptoms may include nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, cough, joint pains, confusion, and occasionally rash.

Does'nt sound fun does it?

Unlike Lyme disease or Rocky Mountain spotted fever, a rash is not very common. However, rash has been described in approximately 60% of pediatric patients infected with E. chaffeensis.

Appropriate antibiotic treatment should be initiated immediately if you have these symptoms. Chagi-ya, Hue and Jamey's dog, is on antibiotics and is doing well in response to the treatment.

After every class as well as every wilderness outing EC recommends you conduct a thorough tick check either individually or, even better, with a significant other--to check those hard to reach spots.

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