Medicaid Managed Care Open Enrollment Extended through Dec. 15
Current Suspected Overdose Deaths in Delaware for 2017: 223
The Delaware Division of Public Health (DPH) reminds Delawareans that simple precautions reduce a person’s chances of getting tickborne or mosquitoborne infections this summer.
Lyme disease is the most common disease spread by ticks in Delaware. Rocky Mountain Spotted Fever and Ehrlichiosis occur less frequently.
It takes 24-36 hours of attachment before a disease is transmitted from a tick to a person. Individuals who are infected with tickborne diseases may be treated with antibiotics. Early diagnosis and intervention are key to appropriate treatment and improved health outcomes. People who have been bitten by a tick and do not have symptoms (detailed below) do not require treatment, but they should monitor their health closely and contact a physician if symptoms develop.
Lyme disease is transmitted to humans by the bite of infected deer ticks. Ticks are active all year, but most cases of Lyme disease occur during the spring and summer months when humans enjoy outdoor activities. In 2005, Delaware had 618 confirmed cases compared to 478 cases in 2006. Symptoms can include a "bull's-eye" rash (seen in nearly half of Lyme disease cases), fever, fatigue, headache, muscle and joint aches. Occasionally, chronic joint, heart and neurological problems may occur.
In Delaware, Rocky Mountain Spotted Fever is transmitted by the American dog tick. In 2005, Delaware had 7 confirmed or probable cases compared to 20 cases in 2006. Symptoms can include fever, nausea, vomiting, severe headache, muscle pains and appetite loss; followed by rash, abdominal pain, joint pain and diarrhea. Rocky Mountain Spotted Fever can be a severe disease, and many patients require hospitalization. Approximately 3-5 percent of cases are fatal.
Ehrlichiosis infection can be mild to severe with some patients requiring hospitalization. Symptoms can include fever, headache, malaise, muscle aches, nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, cough, joint pains, confusion and occasionally rash. In 2006, 21 confirmed cases of Ehrlichiosis were reported in Delaware. The lone star and the blacklegged tick transmit Ehrlichiosis in Delaware.
Diagnosis of Lyme disease, Rocky Mountain Spotted Fever and Ehrlichiosis are all based on individual patient symptoms and can generally be confirmed with blood testing.
Diseases from mosquitoes include West Nile Virus (WNV), Eastern Equine Encephalitis (EEE) and several other diseases that cause brain inflammation (encephalitis).
West Nile Virus is transmitted to humans by the bite of infected mosquitoes. West Nile Virus first appeared in Delaware birds and horses in 2003. Delaware’s first confirmed human case occurred in 2002, and was not fatal. In 2003, 17 human cases and two deaths were reported in Delaware. Since then, Delaware has confirmed only two cases of WNV in 2005. No cases were reported in 2006.
Since the virus is carried by birds, and is transmitted to humans through infected mosquitoes that have bitten infected birds, the risk of human infection appears present even though there are no reports of people contracting the infection. Approximately 80 percent of human infections are very mild and cause no outward symptoms. Nearly 20 percent of those infected develop a mild illness (West Nile fever), which includes fever, body and muscle aches, headache, nausea, vomiting, and rash. A very small percentage of patients, usually the elderly, develop severe neurological disease that results in meningitis or encephalitis.
Eastern Equine Encephalitis (EEE) is transmitted to humans by the bite of infected mosquitoes. As the name suggests, EEE occurs in the eastern half of the US. Because of the high death rate, it is regarded as one of the more serious mosquito-borne diseases in the United States. Delaware has not had a confirmed case of EEE since 1979. However, like WNV, the risk of human infection is present. Symptoms range from mild flu-like illness to encephalitis (inflammation of the brain), coma and death.
DPH reminds residents to take the following protective measures to avoid tick and mosquito bites:
Further information regarding tick prevention can be found at: http://www.cdc.gov/ncidod/ticktips2005/
Further information regarding mosquito prevention can be found at: http://www.cdc.gov/ncidod/dvbid/westnile/qa/prevention.htm
For questions concerning mosquito control, or to report a dead bird, please call Department of Natural Resources Environmental Control (DNREC) at:
For additional information contact DPH, Bureau of Epidemiology at: 1-888-295-5156.