We dont have a lot of Lyme in this area Every no

We dont have a lot of Lyme in this area Every no

first_imgWe don’t have a lot of Lyme in this area. Every now and then we’ll see a case. Most of the cases that I’ve seen have actually been imported from the mid-Atlantic or New England area. Having said that though, slowly but surely ticks that carry Lyme are moving their way down the Shenandoah Valley in the Appalachian Mountains and then also the extreme eastern part of the continental US and they’re starting to enter into the North Carolina area. On why we’re seeing a rise in tick activity: Ticks are not technically insects; they’re arachnids, more closely related to the spider. And usually in the mid-to-late spring they become quite active. So the ticks have three parts of their life cycle, and in order to move from one to the other they have to take a blood meal. So, unfortunately sometimes these ticks have have diseases, particularly bacteria called Rickettsia or some types of Spirochete bacteria, and so they can transmit these to humans. WFDD’s Bethany Chafin spoke with Dr. Chris Ohl, professor of infectious diseases at Wake Forest Baptist Medical Center, about reasons for the trend and how to stay safe this tick season.Interview HighlightsOn ticks and tick season: On whether Lyme disease is common in the region: There are few measures you can take. One is is to wear long pants and boots and then use DEET-containing mosquito repellent. And then there is also a chemical called permethrin, and permethrin can be found in most outdoor shops or hunting stores and such, and then you spray this actually on your clothing rather than on your skin.Also if you’re involved in outdoor activities – after you’re done or periodically while you’re in the activity – check yourself. If you can get the tick off before 24 hours or so, the odds of that tick having time to transmit a bacterium to cause an infection is pretty low. The longer that tick is attached, the higher the chances that you could get an infection from it. The report from the CDC two weeks ago very clearly showed increases in tick-borne diseases. One of the reasons is that we’re better at diagnosing tick-related infections, so we make the diagnosis more often. The other thing is that the number of infections actually probably is truly increasing at the same time because of changes in the way humans interact with their environment. There’s a lot more suburban living, people are living more out towards the edges of cities rather than in the centers and they [ticks] like to live in areas where there’s more outdoor living. Also, early data shows that changes in climate, particularly in the warming of climate, is changing a little bit of the way ticks distribute themselves. Across the country and here in North Carolina, health officials are seeing an increase in tick activity and tick-borne illnesses. Well, in our area…in the Triad the two big ones are Rocky Mountain Spotted Fever which is an infection transmitted by the tick that after about a week or so it causes a fever, pretty bad headache and body aches followed by a rash. The illness can be mild but occasionally it can be quite severe if untreated and rarely can result in death.So the other one is Erlichiosis which is transmitted by a Lone Star Tick. That’s the tick that you see the little white dot on the back of it, which also causes a fever and a headache occasionally with a rash. So both of these are fairly easily treated if recognised early. If you’ve had a lot of outdoor activities, or if you know you’ve had a tick bite and then a few days to a week later develop a fever and a headache illness, it’s best to seek medical attention and see if you need testing and treatment for that. On the dangers associated with such bacteria: On precautions individals can take to prevent tick bites:last_img

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