What is the prognosis of ehrlichiosis?

Updated: Jun 22, 2021
  • Author: Chinelo N Animalu, MD, MPH; Chief Editor: Michael Stuart Bronze, MD  more...
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Ehrlichiosis carries an excellent prognosis in healthy hosts. A favorable outcome is associated with the early use of antibiotics. [12]

The mortality rate for human monocytic ehrlichiosis (HME) is reported to be 2-5%, while that for HGA is 7-10%.

Elderly patients (>60 y) are more likely than others to develop severe infections and account for most deaths due to ehrlichiosis. In addition, ehrlichiosis may be severe in immunocompromised hosts, manifesting as a Rocky Mountain spotted fever (RMSF)–like illness that may be fatal. The great majority of cases of ehrlichiosis are asymptomatic. Most cases present as mild-to-moderate acute febrile illnesses, but some cases are severe/life threatening.

HME has a reported hospitalization rate as high as 60%, while that for HGA is 28-54%.

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