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Anaplasmosis is a disease caused by the bacteria called Anaplasma phagocytophilum. Anaplasmosis is reported in the Northeastern and upper Midwestern states of the United States.


How can I get sick?

  • Through the bite of an infected* tick.
    • In the United States, the bacteria are carried by the blacklegged tick.
    • Tick bites usually don’t hurt, and some people don’t remember being bitten.

Symptoms in humans:

Early Illness 

Early symptoms show between 1 to 5 days and are usually not very bad.

  • Chills
  • Fever (when your body gets a little hotter than normal)
  • Very bad headache
  • Muscle aches
  • Nausea (feeling of wanting to puke)
  • Throwing up
  • Diarrhea (runny poop)
  • Not feeling hungry

Late Illness

Sometimes Anaplasmosis can make people very sick if they don’t get help right away and it can be worse if the person is already sick or if the person is very old.

  • The person can’t breathe.
  • The heart, lungs, liver and kidneys stop working.
  • Death

What can I do to stay healthy?

Before you go outside

  • Know where ticks live!
    • Ticks live in grassy, bushy, or wooded areas. They also live on animals.
      • When hiking or walking outside, try to stay on trails.
      • While hunting or trapping, use gloves when touching an animal or harvesting* an animal.

  • Hunting, camping, hiking, gardening, or playing outside can bring you close to ticks.
  • Treat your clothes, gear (boots, tents, backpacks or camping gear), or any outdoor equipment with insect repellent*.
  • Wear long pants, long sleeves, and long socks when outside.
  • Use insect repellents* while hiking, camping, hunting, or being outside. Ask an adult to help you with insect repellent*.

Before you come inside after being outside

  • Check your clothes, pets, and gear (backpacks, shoes, tents) for ticks before going inside.
  • If you have a tick on you, ask for help to have it removed.
  • Shower soon after being outside to wash off ticks and do a tick check.
  • Check your body for ticks after being outside. Check under your arms, in and around your ears, inside belly button, back of your knees, in and around your hair, between the legs, and around your waist.


  • Harvesting an animal: The process of removing an animal to be used for meat or fur.
  • Infected: When germs get inside of a body, animal, or an organism.
  • Insect Repellent: Product applied to skin, clothing or surfaces to keep insects away.

Species Affected

Learn About Other Diseases

Click below to learn more about the many different diseases that can spread between animals and humans.