Southern Tick-Associated Rash Illness -- When a Bull's-Eye Rash Isn't Lyme Disease

Alison Hinckley, PhD


March 25, 2013

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Southern Tick-Associated Rash Illness

Hello. I am Dr. Alison Hinckley, an epidemiologist from CDC's Division of Vector-Borne Diseases. I am pleased to speak with you today as part of the CDC Expert Commentary Series on Medscape. I will talk about southern tick-associated rash illness (STARI), which causes a rash similar to that of Lyme disease but is actually a distinct, less severe condition caused by the bite of a lone star tick.

Lone Star Tick Range

The lone star tick, Amblyomma americanum, is commonly found throughout the eastern, southeastern, and south-central United States (Figure 1). The range and abundance of these ticks have increased over the past 20 years. Lone star ticks have been found as far north as Maine and as far west as central Texas. Both adult and juvenile lone star ticks feed aggressively on humans.

Figure 1. Geographic distribution of lone star ticks in the United States. Figure courtesy of CDC.