Saturday, March 12, 2011

Under-the-radar tick diseases spreading across the U.S.

I wanted to post the article at this link from MSNBC called "Under-the-radar tick diseases spreading across the U.S." because there's a lot of valuable information in it that people should be aware of as we move into the warmer months of the year when ticks are most active.

At one time or another during the summer months of recent years, we've found ticks on all four of us in my house.  We found dog ticks on me, my wife, and my son.  Several times we found deer ticks on my daughter, and one of those times involved seven or eight at the same time that somehow got in her hair and on her eye.  Those little deer ticks are a pain in the ass.  They're almost impossible to see.

None of us got Lyme disease until my daughter unfortunately got it last year.  She never felt a tick bite, we never saw a tick on her skin over the days that it might have been there, and she had zero symptoms.....except the infamous "bulls-eye rash" that eventually showed up that's a sure symptom of Lyme.

The picture here shows the rash that we found on the back of her leg.  We immediately called the doctor when we found it, he said it was a classic Lyme rash, and he put her on antibiotics without waiting any further.  After three weeks, the rash was gone and she never had any other symptoms.

The article that I linked to above tells of some much more serious diseases that can come from tick bites.  Everyone should be aware of them because some of them (and their symptoms) sound pretty miserable.

We've always been cautious about checking and brushing the kids off when they come in from outside, they don't play in the woods near our house during the summer months, and we always check them for any bulls-eye rashes at night during the warm months.  Even with that, Nicole got Lyme, so we need to step it up a notch.

While I'm not a big fan of spraying chemicals like DEET all over the kids every time they go outside in the summer, I'm going to do some research into what other things might be used to repel ticks from our bodies.  I'll post anything that I find back into this article in the future.

In the mean time, stay cautious as it gets warm.  Check yourselves and your kids when you/they come in from outside, and check in the mirror each night for the Lyme rash.  If you miss seeing the initial rash, it will go away and the next Lyme symptoms that you get could be much worse (i.e., neurological problems, heart issues, etc).

More to come on this topic if/when I find the information that I'm looking for...In the mean time, here's the link to the Center for Disease Control web site on Lyme.

No comments:

Post a Comment