Date of this Version
The emerging tick-borne zoonoses human monocytic ehrlichiosis (HME) and human granulocytic ehrlichiosis (HGE) are underreported in the United States. From 1986 through 1997, 1,223 cases (742 HME, 449 HGE, and 32 not ascribed to a specific ehrlichial agent) were reported by state health departments. HME was most commonly reported from southeastern and southcentral states, while HGE was most often reported from northeastern and upper midwestern states. The annual number of reported cases increased sharply, from 69 in 1994 to 364 in 1997, coincident with an increase in the number of states making these conditions notifiable. From 1986 through 1997, 827 probable and confirmed cases were diagnosed by serologic testing at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, although how many of these cases were also reported by states is not known. Improved national surveillance would provide a better assessment of the public health importance of ehrlichiosis.