Rotary Golf 2024

Opinion: Beware the attack of the ticks

by | Aug 16, 2018 | Opinion

It’s the height of summer, a time of year when we are most vulnerable to insect-borne diseases. It’s a threat that will still be with us well into the Fall. Dr. Robert R. Redfield, director of the Centers for Disease Control [CDC], warns that “a growing list of diseases caused by the bite of an infected mosquito, tick, or flea have confronted the U.S. in recent years, making a lot of people sick.”

Tick attacks can be particularly nasty for seniors, says Dan Weber, president of the Association of Mature American Citizens. “They can cause several different illnesses, most notably Lyme disease. All of these sicknesses can have harsh symptoms but they rarely result in death, although the elderly have weaker immune systems and are therefore more susceptible.”

According to the CDC the symptoms of Lyme disease include fever, rash, facial paralysis and arthritis and can last up to six months. The Interim Healthcare Web site notes that these ”symptoms can be harsh but slow to set in – a person could be infected with Lyme disease for a full month with nothing but a small rash at the bite location before more serious symptoms set in. Later stage Lyme can include increased rashes, partial facial paralysis, arthritis and joint pain, irregular heartbeat, brain and spinal cord swelling, nerve pain and short-term memory loss.” 

Not all ticks carry Lyme disease. Weber says, “it is the blacklegged tick and the western blacklegged tick that are the culprits. They are not common in all 50 states. In fact, up until about 20 years, they were common only in the Northeastern United States. But two decades later they can be found in 1,531 counties spread across 43 states.  Rebecca Eisen, a research biologist at the CDC, tells us that blacklegged ticks inhabit the northeastern, mid-Atlantic, and north-central regions of the United States, and the western blacklegged tick are found along the Pacific Coast.”

Weber says he did some research and found that you can tell the difference between the blacklegged and the common dog tick [which is not known to spread disease] by the physical differences between the two. The blacklegged tick is much smaller than the dog tick and the dog tick has white markings on its back.

The AMAC chief also suggests that you do not panic if you find a tick has attached itself to your body; you’ve got up to 24 hours before an infection can set in. So you have time to get help in removing it at an ER, for example. “Whatever you do, don’t try to squeeze it out or use a lit cigarette to coax it out. If you can’t get medical help, use tweezers to grip it as close as possible to its mouth to remove.”

And, now it is reported that a new species of tick, the “Longhorned Tick” has recently been identified in New York, New Jersey, Virginia, West Virginia, North Carolina and Arkansas. According to one report, “while they have been known to transmit disease to humans in other parts of the world, health officials say more research is needed to determine whether that’s possible in the U.S.”

To prevent tick bites, the CDC suggests that you:

  • Treat clothing and gear with products containing 0.5% permethrin. Permethrin can be used to treat boots, clothing and camping gear and remain protective through several washings. And that you,
  • 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 helpful search tool can help you find the product that best suits your needs. Always follow product instructions.

 

For more stories like this see the Aug. 16 issue or subscribe online.

 

From Staff Reports • [email protected]

Photos online

0 Comments

Public Notice - Subscribe

Related News

Fixer Uppers

Fixer Uppers

Recently, I saw something I haven’t seen in many years. A young man driving a car he was fixing up. It was an older Mustang. By older I mean a 90’s model. The car had spots of primer, there were a few dents, and the exhaust system appeared to be loose. By John Moore...

read more
Who’s counting when it comes to columns?

Who’s counting when it comes to columns?

When this newspaper column began in 2014, my wife asked me a question. Wife: “How long do you intend to write this column?” Me: “Oh, I don’t know. I guess I’ll write 500 of them and then hang it up. This column is number 500. By Bob Moore For more stories about the...

read more
Don’t eat that

Don’t eat that

When I was a kid, I had to sneak around if I wanted to eat certain things. Now that I’m an adult and in charge, I still have to sneak around if I want to eat certain things. I miss the days when no one knew anything about gluten, trans fats, cholesterol,...

read more
Texas counties among nation’s fastest growing

Texas counties among nation’s fastest growing

Recent estimates from the U.S. Census Bureau indicate that six of the 10 fastest-growing counties in the United States from 2022 to 2023 were in Texas. According to the Texas Tribune, Kaufman County, just east of Dallas, led the list with a 7.6% increase in new...

read more
Read this. Build a stronger community.

Read this. Build a stronger community.

Saddened. Embarrassed. Determined. These three words evoke distinct feelings and emotions. In the context of an opinion piece we ran in the paper four and a half years ago, they described the aftermath of a community that lost its newspaper. After 130 years in...

read more
Just like mom used to make

Just like mom used to make

Men have man caves because they want the room they had as a kid back. They also spend the rest of their days trying to find the recipes of their favorite childhood dishes. The ones like their mom used to make. By John Moore For more on this story see the March 7, 2024...

read more
Pet ownership: A lifetime commitment

Pet ownership: A lifetime commitment

He was crossing the road. Over and over. I was surprised someone hadn’t hit him with their car. I was also surprised the coyotes hadn’t gotten him. It was 9 o’clock at night and according to the residents of the small strip of country road, he’d been out there for a...

read more
Hold, please

Hold, please

It appears that telephone landlines may be on their way out. CNN Business reported that recently, AT&T applied for a waiver in the state of California to stop servicing traditional landlines. Both AT&T and Verizon have both said they want to move away from...

read more
Dewey or don’t we?

Dewey or don’t we?

On Christmas Eve 2008, there were just three of us working in the office. Well, technically, there was one of us working, the other two were there. A couple of the young ladies on staff either didn’t have enough vacation time built up or they were saving it for...

read more
Public Notice - Subscribe