Diagnosis should be made on the basis of symptoms and evidence of a tick bite, not blood tests, which can often give false results if performed in
the first month after infection.
Those who live or work in
residential areas surrounded by tick-infested woods, or enjoy hiking, camping, fishing and hunting, or live in endemic areas are at increased risk for this disease.
Human T-cell lymphotrophic virus-1 (HTLV-1) is associated with progressive spinal cord dysfunction.