Friday, 10 May 2013

Bug season: prevent Lyme Disease

They are tiny before they become engorged with blood.
In bug season (May - September in Ontario!), you must protect yourself.
Tuck your pants into your socks if you are out and about. Check yourself carefully at home.
It takes 24 hours for the bacteria to get from the tick's gut into you. Remove them right away with needle-nosed tweezers!

While Elizabeth May is working on a Lyme Disease strategy, the fact is that you must prevent it, in preference to curing it.

“A lot of doctors still operate under the assumption that this disease is very, very rare — that's no longer the case. And we also have the problem that it's hard to diagnose.”

This is the truth.
Anyone who works or plays outdoors is at risk.
Many doctors are unaware of it. Heck, my doctors couldn't even identify poison ivy rash I developed in October!
I used gloves to stack wood, rather than throwing them out after pulling some poison ivy plants. It was a dumb thing to do.
That said, you need to check your legs. They land on your feet and climb upwards. Our cats have had ticks on the back of their necks, where they cannot pull them off, or on the eyebrow.

I blame the doctors, who are in denial. Too many just want to get you in and out of their offices. Too many think Lyme Disease symptoms are in your head.
Not everyone gets the tell-tale bull's eye.

What are the symptoms of Lyme disease?(gc)
I pulled this one off of a cat!

Typical signs of skin irritation such as itchiness, scaling, pain, swelling, or exudation are not normally associated with EM.  Other common symptoms include:
  • fatigue, chills, fever, headache, muscle and joint pain and swollen lymph nodes.
If untreated, the second stage of the disease, known as disseminated Lyme disease, can last up to several months and include:
  • central and peripheral nervous system disorders, multiple skin rashes, arthritis and arthritic symptoms, heart palpitations and extreme fatigue and general weakness.
If the disease remains untreated, the third stage can last months to years with symptoms that can include recurring arthritis and neurological problems.


Olga said...

Good info. I have a dread fear of ticks. We have noticed a big increase around here. We suspect that my husband's poor health this past summer-winter may have been from a tick bite he got last May.

Yogi♪♪♪ said...

Lyme disease is pretty common with geocachers. I have some treated bugproof pants and self treated shirt that I wear plus I spray myself with deet, starting from the shoes and working upward.

You are right, untreated it is a major problem.

Red said...

You're right. It's fairly easy to protect yourself from Lyme disease. It's a rather miserable disease to get.

Anonymous said...

I don't know if Lyme disease is prevalent here in Hawaii. But, as you say, it is a very dangerous bite to get.

Powell River Books said...

I know we have ticks around here, but have been very luck to avoid them. I would freak out if I found one sucking on me. - Margy