Aug 9, 2023 - Health

State reports second case of tick-borne anaplasmosis

A tick on a green blade of grass.

Tick-borne diseases are still relatively rare in Washington. Photo: Patrick Pleul/picture alliance via Getty Images

While Washington state is still far from being the tick haven found in other parts of the country, climate change and warmer temperatures are expected to bring the blood-sucking parasites closer to home.

Driving the news: Tacoma-Pierce County Health Department reported the state's second case of anaplasmosis, a tick-borne disease, last month. It was diagnosed in a woman who had spent time in wooded areas of Puyallup and Eatonville.

  • The first locally acquired human case was reported last year by the state Department of Health (DOH) in a man who had been working in Mason County brush when he was likely bitten by an infected tick.

State of play: There are four species of ticks commonly found in Washington that are known to bite and transmit diseases to people, according to DOH.

  • Those diseases include Lyme disease, anaplasmosis, Rocky Mountain spotted fever and tick-borne relapsing fever.

Be smart: Ticks, which are in the spider family, must be attached to their hosts' bodies to transmit diseases so it's very important to remove them promptly, according to the Benton-Franklin Health District.

  • Using fine-tipped tweezers, grasp the tick as close to the skin surface as possible and pull upward with steady, even pressure.
  • Don't twist or jerk the tick — this may cause the mouthparts to break off and remain in the skin. If this happens, remove the mouthparts with tweezers.

After removing the tick, flush it, don't crush it. Then disinfect the bite site and wash your hands.


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