Days are becoming longer, birds are starting to sing, and we will soon see tulips begin to sprout. With spring quickly approaching a less desirable time is upon us-tick season. If you are an outdoors person or own pets you know that these blood sucking parasites can be quite a nuisance. Annoying as they may be ticks also transfer illnesses such as Lyme disease.
Researchers from Tufts have identified a new tick-borne disease caused by the spirochete bacteria Borrelia miyamotoi. The bacteria is less prevalent that the Lyme causing bacteria, with only one confirmed case in the U.S. But Tufts research states that “B. miyamotoi may be an under recognized source of human disease, especially in regions such as the northeastern United States, where Lyme disease is prevalent”. Up until recently, there was little data or research directly linking the bacteria to human disease.
If you tend to frequent the ticks habitat you may want to take extra precautions as warm weather approaches. Wear long sleeved shirts and pants, and avoid areas of high vegetation. Examine yourself after being outdoors in places ticks like to hide such as your armpit, bellybutton, behind the knees, and other tick loving areas of the body. Check pets before letting them loose in the house and treat them with a veterinarian approved tick preventative. Please remember- ticks will just sit and wait for a blood meal to come along!
Angeline Latsch (2)