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The Pediatric Forum
August 2000

Human Monocytic Ehrlichiosis: A Potentially Severe Disease in Children

Arch Pediatr Adolesc Med. 2000;154(8):847-849. doi:10.1001/archpedi.154.8.847

The spectrum of diseases caused by human monocytic ehrlichiosis (HME) in children ranges from asymptomatic to severe and even fatal.1-5 The infection often goes unrecognized1,6 because it may be very mild and not lead the family to seek medical attention, or because the physician may not be familiar with it. The importance of diagnosing HME in children is that appropriate early antibiotic therapy with a tetracycline leads to rapid defervescence and recovery.2,6,7 Moreover, when untreated, HME may be fatal. We report 2 cases of severe HME in children that required intensive care management.