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!
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.
Powassan virus is transmitted by the same tick that carries the etiologic agent of Lyme disease and several other pathogens. The number of cases of encephalitis caused by this virus may be increasing in the endemic areas.