Why Do I Have A Tick Problem
In Florida, ticks are most active during the spring and fall months. They are most likely on your property because it provides them with the environment that they require for survival. Ticks need to live in moist humid areas and can be found hiding in areas of dense vegetation, high grasses, along fence lines, along the edges of wooded paths, and in wooded areas, waiting for a host to latch onto. They then begin feeding on their hosts blood. Ticks are generally first introduced onto properties by wild animals that live near or pass by your home.
Which Ticks Carry Lyme Disease
In the spring and summer months, many people are eager to get out of the house and into nature. However, warmer weather brings more than humans to the great outdoors, it also kicks off the dreaded tick season. Apart from causing revulsion at the thought of finding a tick latched onto us or our beloved pets, ticks can be deadly. The biggest and most dangerous threat when it comes to ticks is Lyme disease. But which ticks carry Lyme disease? The article below would give us more details.
How Is Lyme Disease Treated
Your healthcare provider will figure out the best treatment for you based on:
How old you are
Lyme disease in the earliest stage is usually treated with antibiotics for 2 to 3 weeks.
Treatment will also be considered based on these and other factors:
If you are bitten by a tick that tests positive for the bacteria that causes Lyme disease
If you are bitten by a tick and have any of the symptoms
If you are bitten by a tick and are pregnant
If you are bitten by a tick and live in a high-risk area
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What Is Lyme Disease Anyway
Lyme disease is the most prevalent tick-borne disease in the United States. Its caused by a bacterium named Borrelia burgdorferi. According to some sources, each year there can be up to 30,000 new cases of Lyme disease diagnosed. And that number doesnt factor in cases that are undiagnosed or misdiagnosed, meaning there may be a lot more people who are infected.
Later Signs Of Lyme Disease
What if Lyme disease isnt detected early on? The longer that disease-causing bacteria linger in the body, the more they disseminate, and as these microbes spread to tissues throughout the body, they can trigger a litany of symptoms. CDC says these may include:
- Severe headaches and neck stiffness
- Additional EM rashes. These lesions may pop up on other areas of the body
- A type of facial paralysis known as Bells palsy
- Arthritis with severe joint pain and swelling. Knees and other large joints are vulnerable
- Intermittent pain in tendons, muscles, joints, and bones
- Nerve pain
- Shooting pains, numbness, or tingling in the hands or feet
You might have persistent or episodic symptoms, says Dr. Green. Pain that seems to move through the body? Thats common too. The hallmark of late Lyme is migratory joint pain: today my right knee hurts and tomorrow Im limping on my left ankle, and, oh, my third finger of my right hand swelled up, and, oh, my neck has swelled up, she says.
In rare cases, Lyme disease bacteria can enter the tissues of the heart. This complication, called Lyme carditis, can lead to lightheadedness, fainting, shortness of breath, heart palpitations, or chest pain.
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What Are The Symptoms Of Lyme Disease
According to the Mayo Clinic, the early signs and symptoms of Lyme disease include the following:
The Mayo Clinic also states that when the disease is not treated quickly, new symptoms can crop up in the following weeks or months, including:
What Are The First Signs And Symptoms Of Lyme Disease
In the first early localized stage of Lyme disease the skin at the site of the tick bite becomes infected with Borrelia burgdorferi bacteria which can cause an expanding round or oval red skin lesion called erythema migrans. This may or may not be associated with flu-like symptoms within days to a month after the tick bite such as achiness, chills, fever, sweats, fatigue, malaise, headache, stiff neck, muscle soreness, joint pain, swollen lymph nodes, and sore throat. The combination of the skin lesion and flu-like symptoms are the primary manifestations of acute stage Lyme disease. Acute Lyme disease is not associated with typical cold-like symptoms of runny nose, prominent cough, or prominent diarrhea.
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What Are The Symptoms Of Tick Bites
The Mayo Clinic notes that the majority of tick bites are painless. The symptoms include redness, swelling and a sore on the skin.
If youre bitten by a tick, youll need to carefully remove it as soon as you can, grasping it by the head with tweezers and gently pulling in a slow and steady upward motion. Take care not to squeeze or twist the tick, and dont handle it with bare hands.
If you can, seal the tick in a container and place it in the freezer. If you develop symptoms, this will help the doctor identify the tick that bit you. After youve removed the tick, wash your hands and the area where you were bitten with warm water, soap, rubbing alcohol or an iodine scrub.
Do keep in mind that there are several tick-borne diseases, so the Mayo Clinic does state you should call your doctor if:
And if you experience a severe headache, difficulty breathing, paralysis or heart palpitations, the Mayo Clinic recommends calling 911 or your local emergency number.
Pathogen Detection And Human Cases In Florida
Borrelia, Ehrlichia and Rickettsia were all detected within climatic regions 13. . Borrelia burgdorferi was only detected in one county within climatic region 2 even though human cases for locally acquired B.burgdorferi infection were spread throughout the entire state . Borrelia lonestari was detected across climatic regions 13 and the only pathogen detected in region 4. Ehrlichia ewingii was found in climatic region 2. Our pathogen survelliance for Ehrlichia did not overlap with human cases at the county level. Human cases of Ehrlichiosis did overlap with climatic regions 23 and with a few cases in regions 46. Human cases of rickettsiosis were concentrated in climatic regions 13, with a few cases in region 4. Rickettsia-postive ticks were found throughout cimatic regions 13. Ticks infected with Rickettsia overlapped with reported human cases for spotted fever rickettsiosis at the county level within climatic region 2 . Ticks were collected in climatic region 4 but they were not infected with Rickettsia, even though human cases of rickettsiosis have been reported in the region.
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What Is A Deer Tick
Deer ticks also called black-legged ticks are tiny arachnids that measure about one-eighth of an inch once they reach adulthood. Larvae, on the other hand are about the size of a pinhead. Their bodies are dark brown to black and they have dark legs, and, regardless of maturity, all deer ticks need a blood meal to grow.
The deer tick is primarily found in the eastern United States, particularly the Northeast. Their preferred habitats include wooded areas and fields. Over the years, this arachnid has gained a pretty bad reputation as it is well known for being a carrier of the bacteria that can cause Lyme disease in humans and their pets.
I Just Found A Tick Attached To Me What Should I Do
Dont panic. First, remove the tick with a pair of tweezers. Grasp the tick close to the skin and pull directly upwards until the tick comes free.
Try to remove the tick whole. If you do, it is likely the tick will still be alive and moving.
Place the tick in a plastic bag or other sealed container. Try to identify what kind of tick it is that bit you. An online tick identification chart, like the one from the University of Rhode Islands TickEncounter Resource Center may be helpful. If you are not sure what type of tick bit you, it is best to bring it to your doctor or someone else who can identify ticks.
Its important to remember that Lyme disease is not the only infection spread by deer ticks, and deer ticks are not the only ticks that can spread infections. After any tick bite, you should monitor your health. If you develop a high fever or chills, you should seek medical attention, and be sure to mention to the doctor that you have recently had a tick bite.
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How Can I Prevent Tick Bites
The best way to beat Lyme disease is to avoid the ticks that spread it. Ticks cannot jump or fly, and must wait for a passing animal to grab hold of. They live in areas with tall grass and bushes, and where there are thick layers of plant debris. They do not survive well on well trimmed lawns where the sun will quickly dry them out.
Keep your bushes well trimmed and your lawn free of garden debris. When walking in areas with tall grass or brush, it is important to cover arms and legs with long shirt sleeves and long pants, and to tuck pant cuffs into socks to deny ticks entrance.
Insecticide sprays such as permethrin can be used on clothing before outdoor activities. One application will last in fabric for several months. Insect repellent such as DEET or picaridin can be used on skin, and only last several hours at the most. Apply according to the directions on the package, and be careful not to get it in your eyes or mouth.
After coming in from the outdoors, it is important to look over your body and/or your childs body for ticks. This is best done in the shower or bath. Pay close attention to areas where the ticks may hide in the armpits, in the groin, in the belly button, and on the scalp and behind the ears.
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Keep A Lookout For Symptoms From Tick Bite This Summer
Have you checked yourself or your child for tick bites lately?
If you havent already heard, this summer is a particularly booming year for tick populations across the country and in the state of Ohio. A black-legged tick , the kind that sometimes carries Lyme disease, was spotted just to the east of us in Vermilion earlier this summer. And Ohio is on the list of 24 states that contains counties with newly documented populations of deer ticks.
Tick bites are common. Some people are unaware of a tick bite at first. Be sure to check yourself and your children often, especially throughout the summer months when tick populations grow. Ticks are especially attracted to warm, moist areas of the skin like armpits, groins, or hair. Once they bite you, a tick may stick around drawing your blood for up to 10 days. The sooner you spot and remove a tick, the better.
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New Maps Predict Where Medically Important Ticks Are Found In Florida
A female Ixodid scapularis.
This spring, the Florida Department of Health will have a new tool to investigate cases of tickborne illness: maps created by University of Florida medical geographers that predict where three medically important tick species are likeliest to occur in the sunshine state.
The good news is that these ticks arent everywhere, says Greg Glass, a geography professor in UF’s College of Liberal Arts and Sciences who led the mapping effort. Ticks that have the potential to carry Lyme disease, for example, are found in a smaller region of the state than expected though they are found very reliably in some areas.
The maps were recently published in the Journal of Medical Entomology. The study looked at three tick species: the lone star tick , deer tick , and the American dog tick . These species are vectors for tularemia, human echrlichiosis, heartland virus disease, Bourbon virus disease, Southern tick-associated rash illness, Rocky Mountain spotted fever, babesiosis, anaplasmosis, Powassan virus disease and Lyme disease.
Based on some citizen science work and anecdotal reports, there was an impression that some of these species may have been more widespread than we found them to be, Glass says. If you live in northeast Florida, these ticks are very prevalent. But west of Tallahassee and south and east of Tampa, their presence declines dramatically.
What Is Lyme Disease
Lyme disease is an infection caused by the bacteria Borrelia burgdorferi. This spiral shaped bacterium is most commonly spread by a tick bite. The disease takes its name from Lyme, Connecticut. This is where the illness was first identified in the United States in 1975.
Although Lyme disease is a year-round problem, April through October is considered tick season. Cases of Lyme disease have been reported in nearly all states in the U.S. and in large areas in Europe and Asia, but the most common areas are the Northeast, upper Midwest and northwestern states.
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How Is Lyme Disease Diagnosed
Lyme disease is difficult to diagnose because symptoms are not consistent and may mimic other conditions. The primary symptom is a rash, but it may not be present in up to 20% of cases.
Diagnosis for Lyme disease must be made by a healthcare provider experienced in recognizing Lyme disease. Diagnosis is usually based on symptoms and a history of a tick bite. Testing is generally done to confirm the diagnosis and rule out other conditions. This may need blood and other lab tests.
Research is underway to develop and improve methods for diagnosing Lyme disease.
The symptoms of Lyme disease may look like other medical conditions or problems. Always talk with your healthcare provider for a diagnosis.
How Long Do Ticks Stay On Dogs
The length of time ticks will stay on your dog depends on whether the tick is a nymph or a fully formed adult. In general, a tick can remain attached to skin for anywhere from three to 10 days if left undisturbed. However, the risk of disease transmission increases significantly after the tick has been attached for a few hours, which is why early detection and removal is key.
The longer the tick remains on your dog, the greater risk your dog faces of contracting a disease, including Lyme disease, Rocky Mountain spotted fever, skin rashes or a number of other bacterial infections and conditions that could lead to serious and/or chronic health conditions.
Ticks wont leave on their own until theyve consumed as much blood as possiblewhich will take days, even in the best-case scenario. Pet owners should take prompt action to get rid of it by using tweezers to pull the ticks mouth away from your dogs skin.
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Ticks & Disease In Florida
Ticks can be found throughout the year in Florida, but there are seasonal differences in the abundance of nymphs and adults. Ticks in either stage can transmit any diseases they carry, so quick removal of ticks and prevention of tick bites are both important. There can be an increased risk of disease from nymphs because they are often small enough to avoid being noticed.
Should I Be Tested For Lyme Disease After A Tick Bite
Lyme testing relies on detecting antibodies the bodys reaction to the germ not the germ itself. It takes time for the body to make antibodies, at least a couple of weeks after you have become infected. Someone with symptoms of very early Lyme disease is likely to have a negative Lyme antibody test. On the other hand, false positive Lyme tests can happen, so someone without symptoms of Lyme disease who tests positive is unlikely to really have the disease. Testing for Lyme disease shortly after a tick bite is not helpful, says Dr. Baer and may lead to a prescription for a medication that you just dont need.
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Tread Lightly In Deer Tick Territory To Prevent Lyme Disease
Last weekend I traveled to Roanoke, Va., and celebrated a college graduation at a home in the mountains.
As I talked to my friend Teresa, she brushed a hand across her hairline. Oh, look. A tick, she said calmly.
Teresa, a hospital infectious disease nurse manager, had no trouble identifying the tiny culprit, slightly smaller than a grain of rice. She suggested everyone check themselves for deer ticks, common in the woods there.
Deer ticks and the potentially serious disease some of them spread, Lyme disease, are not as plentiful in Florida as in points North. But its worth knowing how to identify them and what to do about them, particularly if you travel in the summer, the height of tick season.
According to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, in 2011, 96 percent of Lyme disease cases were found in just 13 states including New Jersey, New York, Maine, Wisconsin, Pennsylvania, and, yes, Virginia. Some of those states report thousands of cases.
In Florida, we had 78 confirmed cases of Lyme in 2011. Last year in Pinellas there were three cases, with slightly more in Hillsborough. Very few of those are acquired in Florida, said Michael Wiese, epidemiologist with the Florida Department of Health in Hillsborough County.
Without proper treatment, some people may develop facial drooping, memory issues, numbness, tingling and heart rhythm problems.
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