DPH: Tick-borne Diseases in Connecticut

Tick-borne Diseases in Connecticut

Connecticut ticks can carry a variety of disease causing agents, including rickettsia, bacteria, and protozoa. People can become infected with more than one disease with one tick bite.  When multi-infection transmission occurs, diagnosis and treatment can be difficult. Symptoms and treatment for each condition may vary. 


Disease Organism Tick species picture**
Babesiosis Babesia microti  Ixodes scapularis (deer tick)
Ehrlichiosis Ehrlichia chafeensis / E. equi  Ixodes scapularis (deer tick)
Lyme disease Borrelia burgdorferi  Ixodes scapularis (deer tick)
Rocky Mountain spotted fever Rickettsia rickettsii  Dermacentor variabilis (dog tick)

** Tick pictures are linked to the Iowa State University's Entomology Image Gallery.

Please click here for general tick information and information on the following:

  • Information on submitting ticks for identification ONLY.
  • Guidelines for municipal and regional health departments.
  • Tick Identification, Testing, and Information Laboratory: General information.
  • Ticks to be tested for the organism that causes Lyme disease.
  • Tick Submission Form: Information required from people submitting ticks.

Other sites containing tick-borne disease information can be found here.

 In Brief...       

To prevent tick-borne diseases, you need to prevent tick bites. Proper personal protection methods must be used and include the following:

  • Avoid tall grass and over-grown, brushy areas.
  • When hiking in wooded areas, stay in the middle of trails.
  • Consider using insect repellent, according to manufacturer's instructions.
  • Tuck pant leg into socks, wear long-sleeved shirts, and closed shoes.
  • Wear light-colored clothing to see the ticks easier for removal.
  • When returning indoors, shower using a wash cloth or puff to remove any unattached ticks.
  • Examine yourself, children, and pets for ticks when returning indoors.
  • Talk to your veterinarian to find out how to protect your pets from tick bites.

Should you find attached ticks:

  • It is important to remove a feeding tick as soon as it is discovered.
  • Remove the tick using tweezers. Grasp the tick mouth parts as close to the skin as possible and pull the tick out with steady pressure. Do not yank the tick out or crush the tick's body as it may contain infectious fluids.
  • Do not use petroleum jelly, hot matches, nail polish remover, or any other substance to remove a tick. By using these substances, you may actually increase your chance of infection.
  • Thoroughly wash the area of the bite with soap and water and put an antiseptic on it.
  • Check for ticks attached to clothing or skin after every 2 to 3 hours of outdoor activity.
  • The sooner the tick is removed, the lesser the risk of tick-borne infection.
  • Write on the calendar the date you removed the tick and the part of the body from which it was removed.
  • Contact your physician for recommendations on testing and treatment.

Content Last Modified on 3/30/2009 11:26:39 AM