Anaplasmosisdeer tick

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Photo credit: US CDC

About Anaplasmosis

Anaplasmosis is a disease caused by the bacterium Anaplasma phagocytophilum. This bacterium infects white blood cells (neutrophils) in the immune system.

Anaplasmosis is transmitted to a person through the bite of an infected deer tick (Ixodes scapularis). Anaplasmosis cases appear to be increasing in Maine as the deer tick spreads throughout the state.

Anaplasmosis is treatable with antibiotics. The best way to prevent anaplasmosis is by avoiding tick bites.


Signs and symptoms of anaplasmosis begin 1-2 weeks after the bite of an infected tick. Signs and symptoms may include:

  • Fever and chills

    Fever and chills

  • Headache


  • Muscle pain

    Muscle pain

  • Nausea and abdominal pain

    Nausea and abdominal pain

More severe signs and symptoms may include:

  • Difficulty breathing

    Difficulty breathing

  • Kidney failure

    Kidney failure

  • Neurologic problems

    Neurologic problems

See a healthcare provider if you become ill after being bitten by a tick or spending time in areas where ticks commonly live. Be sure to mention a recent tick bite or time spent in tick habitat to your healthcare provider.


Prevent Tick Bites

The best way to prevent anaplasmosis is to prevent tick bites in the first place. Take these simple steps every day to prevent tick bites:

  • long pants

    Wear light-colored, long-sleeved clothing and pants. Tuck your pants into your socks.

  • bug spray

    Use an EPA-approved bug spray.

  • trail

    Stay in the middle of trails.

  • tick check

    Do daily tick checks and check your pets for ticks.

Protect Your Yard From Ticks

You can make your yard a tick-safe zone:

  1. Keep the lawn mowed.
  2. Keep leaves raked and get rid of leaf piles.
  3. Move wood piles away from the house. Mice like to live here and can bring ticks with them.
  4. Move birdfeeders away from the house, gardens, and yard toys. Deer and mice like birdfeeders and can bring ticks into the yard.
  5. Use crushed stone or woodchips to make a tick-safe barrier around your yard. This should be 3-feet wide to separate the yard from the woods and keep ticks from crossing into the yard.
tick property maintenance

To learn more about tick bite prevention and how to keep ticks out of your yard, visit Tick Frequently Asked Questions.

Resources for Educators

Maine CDC developed vectorborne school curricula for 3rd-8th grade classrooms. The curriculum is aligned with Maine Learning Results. School nurses, teachers, and other youth leaders are encouraged to use this resource in their classrooms.

Reports and Publications

Anaplasmosis Surveillance Report (PDF) 2014 | 2015 | 2016 | 2017 | 2018 | 2019 | 2020 | 2021

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