from Elemental: “We now live in a frightening new normal: It’s estimated that 300,000 people contract Lyme every year in the U.S., with victims found not just in traditionally tick-heavy areas like upstate New York and Maine, but also in all 50 states and Washington, D.C.” Read the June 24, 2019 report HERE.
From Elemental’s Tickpocalypse report:
“Because ticks acquire pathogens from hosts, understanding tick-borne diseases means understanding ticks’ so-called disease reservoir, especially mice. If the urban rat was the primary carrier of bubonic plague, the country mouse is it for Lyme disease. And just as the fleas that fed on infected rats spread the plague, ticks that feed on infected mice transmit Lyme….”
“…If Lyme disease has reached pandemic proportions, why haven’t we heard more about it? Because, experts say, Lyme doesn’t strike fear into people’s hearts the way some other illnesses, like Ebola or Zika, do. People respond to dramatic pictures or dramatic mortality, says John Aucott, director of the Lyme Disease Clinical Research Center at Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine.. “It’s hard for them to have a perspective on the real impact of Lyme disease because it doesn’t cause visible changes. People with Lyme disease don’t look sick.”
“…Lyme can be difficult to diagnose. To identify it, doctors generally rely on symptoms (the bull’s-eye rash) and circumstances (having been in a tick-infested area) rather than a blood test because the antibodies that indicate the presence of the disease can take weeks to appear in tests, resulting in false negatives. The lack of a reliable test means people often go untreated longer than necessary.
Virginia is in the top states for tick-borne diseases. Read more
The best way for people and pets to avoid ticks is to stick to paths or trails that are wide and sunlit, according to the Center for Disease Control.
If you’re venturing out in tick-infested areas, repellents that include DEET or picaridin are safe and effective, says the CDC.
Use Environmental Protection Agency (EPA)-registered insect repellents containing DEET, picaridin, IR3535, Oil of Lemon Eucalyptus (OLE), para-menthane-diol (PMD), or 2-undecanone. EPA’s search tool can help you find the product that best suits your needs.
Wearing jeans and tucking the cuffs into your socks is good way to prevent bites. But you’ll want to remove your clothes and dry them on high heat for about 50 minutes as soon as you’re home. (Ticks can survive washing and low-heat drying.)
Spraying your clothing and boots with a product that contains permethrin, an insecticide — or buying gear pre-treated with permethrin — will also keep ticks away, per the CDC.