How common is ehrlichiosis in our region?
This is a difficult question to answer, because many mild mild cases go unnoticed and untreated. In 2002, 727 cases of HME and HGA were reported nationally, with 84 cases in Dutchess County. In 2003, that numbers were 683 nationally, with 61 in Dutchess County. The Hudson Valley and Long Island are the regions of New York State where the illness is most prevalent. Official data released by the Dutchess County Department of Health show that 186 cases of ehrlichiosis/anaplasmosis were reported in the county in 2005, 138 cases in 2006, and 85 cases in 2007. Data on fatalities in Dutchess County were not available to this publication at press time. Of these cases, it is estimated that about 80 to 90 percent were anaplasmosis, with the rest being ehrlichiosis. Again, the two diseases are nearly identical in the clinical picture they present. It is not clear that the number of new cases of the illnesses will continue to decline, as that number will track, among other things, the tick populat