An insect infected an American with three diseases at once

(ORDO NEWS) — In May 2021, a 70-year-old man was brought to the emergency room with fever, ankle swelling, and nausea after an alleged insect bite. This happened to him one month ago.

During the examination, the doctors recorded a fever and pain in his left leg – even if the man did not move, and the leg continued to hurt. Laboratory studies revealed anemia, thrombocytopenia, acute renal failure and increased activity of aminotransaminases in the patient.

The doctors asked him what the American had been doing lately, what he had eaten, where he had gone. The man said that he had recently returned from relatives from Massachusetts, where he walked a lot and for a long time in the forest.

He recalled that he noticed redness and swelling of the ankle – then the man thought it was an insect bite and decided to treat the wound with a hydrocortisone-based cream.

Two days after the bite, the man went to his doctor. The doctor prescribed him antihistamines and antibiotics. Three weeks later, fever and nausea were added to the pain in the leg.

Based on this, doctors suspected a possible tick-borne disease in him. Serological tests for certain pathogenic bacteria (Borrelia burgdorferi, Anaplasma phagocytophilum and Babesia microti) were positive. The patient was diagnosed with Lyme disease, babesiosis and anaplasmosis.

All of these diseases are carried by ticks. In this case, it turned out that the bite of one insect was enough to infect them with three at once. Such a “multi-layered” infection happens , and it’s not even rare: usually Lyme disease is the second disease.

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