Tuesday, March 5, 2013

Tis the Season for Ticks!

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)




  1. so are you saying that this bacteria caused disease has been previously misdiagnosed as lime disease? what are the symptoms?
    Tonya Sulham (3)

  2. No, what the study states is B. miyamotoi may be an underrecognized source of human disease, is carried by the same vector (tick), and is a cousin of the bacteria that causes Lyme disease. In fact the disease/illness the bacteria causes has yet to be named. The only person diagnosed experienced mental health decline and loss of apetite. She was then treated with antibiotics and has recovered.

  3. I'm a little confused. Does this new bacteria also cause Lyme disease or is that a major difference between the ticks/bacteria we already know of?

    Kimberly Ty (3)

  4. Do you think there will be as many ticks as last season? I know there wasn't really any snow last year, so they were just waiting for spring to come. Also, if only one person was diagnosed with it, do you believe that it is under recognized even if no one else has been properly diagnosed yet?

    Cynthia Bui (1)

  5. What are the different types of symptoms this disease could cause and has it proven to be fatal before? Is it more prevalent in a specific country?

    Ashley Sterpka (1)

  6. Is this new disease more prevalent in other countries and now making its way to the United States or is this something found just in the U.S.? Also, are they finding ways of treating this new disease and what are its symptoms? Ticks scare me so much, I hate them!!!

    Gabrielle Wertheim (3)

  7. Is this disease similar to Lyme Disease, in the sense of severity? Where did this disease come from, is it possibly a mutation of the Lyme Disease microorganism?

    Lindsey Dugas (1)

  8. So you said that Lyme disease is prevalent in the Northeast. Was the case of the new disease in the Northeast as well? Have there been confirmed cases outside of the US? Have there been any fatalities? I know Lyme disease can affect dogs. Has B. miyamotoi been found in other animals?

    Kaitlin Jones (3)

  9. I searched more about this disease and realized that there is definitely more than 1 cases in US. And apparently there are some
    antibiotics to eliminate the disease.

    Setareh Sepasi (3)

  10. Well it does not surprise me that more diseases can come from ticks over time, just like any other parasite. Its just a matter of time before something mutates and creates something new.

    Sunni-Lynn Farias (1)

  11. There are antibiotic treatments for both the bacteria that causes Lyme Disease and to treat B.miyamotoi.

  12. I also inserted the link from Tufts University if you tick haters would like to read it in full. Yes the bacteria is found in animals typically deer that is where the ticks pick up the bacteria in order to transfer it to humans and other animals.

  13. Hopefully the ticks aren't too bad this year. We live right by Mt Toby State Forest, so when they are bad, they are really bad, especially with our dog.

    Another terrifying tick born disease causes the infected person to have issues digesting meat... No bacon = no bueno

    Michael Ball (1)