southern tick-associated rash illness

southern tick-associated rash illness (STARI) or Masters disease, illness characterized by a Lyme disease–like rash that is associated with bite from the Lone Star tick (Amblyomma americanum) rather than with one from ticks of the genus Ixodes. The disease is distinguished from Lyme disease primarily by the fact that Borrelia burgdorferi, a spirochete bacterium that causes Lyme, is not associated with STARI; the causative agent of STARI is not known. The expanding bull's-eye rash usually appears within a week of a tick bite and may be accompanied by fever, headache, muscle and joint aches, and fatigue. The long-term affects of the illness are unclear, but in general the symptoms and aftereffects appear to be less severe than those of Lyme disease. Treatment is typically oral antibiotics, usually doxycyline or amoxicillin. The Lone Star tick aggressively feeds on humans, and despite the name of the disease, the tick is found in most of the NE, SE, and S central United States and in the Midwest S of the Great Lakes. The illness was first reported in the late 1980s in Missouri by Dr. Edwin Masters.

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