Providers in the pediatric emergency department frequently encounter ectoparasitic infestations. Infestations require early recognition and knowledge of effective treatment strategies. Last month, the author reviewed scabies, chiggers, and lice. This month, the bedbugs and ticks will come biting!
Infectious illness is common in travelers from other countries visiting the United States. Skin and soft tissue infections, respiratory infections, and gastrointestinal illness are most likely, but specific geographic illnesses such as Lyme disease also occur.
Blood-feeding ticks can transmit a wide variety of pathogens to people, which can result in significant infection and morbidity. During the past 10 years, the incidence of these diseases has increased rapidly, and the geographical regions where they occur has expanded. Recognizing symptoms that often are nonspecific and initiating appropriate treatment are critical to patient outcomes.
A randomized, placebo-controlled clinical trial from the Netherlands found that longer-term antibiotic therapy for Lyme disease did not improve health-related quality of life compared to a standard course of treatment.