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Diseases & Topics

Southern Tick-Associated Rash Illness (STARI)

A rash similar to the rash seen in Lyme disease has been found in people following bites of the lone star tick (Amblyomma americanum). The rash may be accompanied by fatigue, fever, headache, muscle and joint pain. This condition has been named southern tick-associated rash illness (STARI). The cause of STARI is unknown. The rash of STARI is a red, expanding "bull's eye" lesion that develops around the site of a lone star tick bite. However, unlike Lyme disease, STARI has not been linked to any arthritic, neurological or chronic symptoms. In the cases of STARI studied to date, the rash and accompanying symptoms have resolved promptly following treatment with oral antibiotics.

In general, tick-borne illness may be prevented by avoiding tick habitat (dense woods and brushy areas), using insect repellents containing DEET or permethrin, wearing long pants and socks, and performing tick checks and promptly removing ticks after outdoor activity. People should monitor their health closely after any tick bite, and should see a doctor if they experience a rash, fever, headache, joint or muscle pains, or swollen lymph nodes within 30 days of a tick bite.

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