Tick-borne diseases are those spread by the bite of an infected tick. These diseases can be caused by bacteria, parasites, or viruses, although the diseases caused by bacteria are most common. Several tick species found in Connecticut can spread types of bacteria that can cause illness in humans, and infection with more than one is possible through one tick bite. Symptoms and treatment for each disease depends on the type of bacteria, parasite, or virus causing the illness. There are no vaccines to prevent these diseases. In Connecticut, surveillance is conducted to identify tick-borne diseases spread by ticks in the state and those that might be travel-related (diseases acquired out of the state). The Connecticut Department of Public Health conducts surveillance for the following tick-borne diseases:
Rocky Mountain spotted fever (RMSF)
The most effective way to avoid getting sick from tick-borne diseases is to prevent tick bites.
Tick species and diseases they can spread in Connecticut include:
- Borrelia miyamotoi disease
- Lyme disease
- Powassan virus disease (can also be spread by Ixodes cookei)
- Ehrlichia chaffeensis
- Rocky Mountain spotted fever
Connecticut Agricultural Experiment Station
The Connecticut Agricultural Experiment Station offers tick testing to Connecticut’s municipal and regional health departments for engorged ticks removed from people. Ticks are tested for the causative agents of anaplasmosis (Anaplasma phagocytophilum), babesiosis (Babesia microti), and Lyme disease (Borrelia burgdorferi). Not all ticks carry disease causing pathogens.
Connecticut Provider Reporting Resources
Companion Animal Parasite Council: Reports of tick-borne diseases (Lyme disease, anaplasmosis, and Ehrlichiosis) in dogs
Workplace Safety - Tick-Borne Diseases - NIOSH
Vector Control Resources - CDC EHS
This page last updated 11/10/2020.