Ehrlichiosis human monocytic

ache. Its flu-like symptoms are far more severe than those associated with Lyme disease.

Severe symptoms of the disease may include prolonged fever, kidney failure, meningoencephalitis, seizures, or coma. Between 2 percent and 3 percent of patients may die from the infection. While many of the symptoms overlap with Lyme, the HGE symptoms tend to peak very quickly, moving from health to severe debilitation in a few hours.

Preliminary evidence suggests that infection caused by the E. chaffeensis bacteria may become more severe than other ehrlichia infections. The severity of ehrlichiosis may also be related in part to the health of the child's immune system. Patients with compromised immunity caused by corticosteroids or cancer chemotherapy, HIV infection, or removal of the spleen appear to develop more severe disease.

Children who are not treated can develop serious liver and lung problems that can lead to organ failure. Untreated ehrlichiosis can be a severe illness; as many as half of all patients require hospitalization.

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