RAY DUNAWAY: A Bad Season For Tick Borne Diseases

 

Goudarz Molaei, Ph.D., from the Center for Vector Biology & Zoonotic Diseases, says it looks like it can be a very bad season for ticks and tick borne diseases. Learn what warning signs to look out for to stay safe.

Dunaway notes a recent news story, in which the Connecticut Supreme Court ruled against the Hotchkiss School in Salisbury for negligence, awarding a student $41.7 million because she got bit by a tick while studying over in China. “This is serious,” says Dunaway, “she’s unable to speak…I thought ticks were limited to transmitting Lyme disease, but obviously I was wrong.”

Dr. Molaei explains…”in the United States alone, ticks are capable of transmitting more than 14 disease agents. Among those is Lyme, along with a number of other bacterial and viral agents.”

In addition, one tiny tick can carry or spread a number of disease, and share diseases that they transmit.

Recent reports reflect the season ahead will be particularly bad for ticks. Because we’ve been having warmer winters and longer summers, ticks are spending shorter amounts of time hibernating. Not only does this result in more ticks for a longer period of time, according to Dr. Molaei, we’re also experiencing higher infection rates of Lyme and other tick borne illnesses.

Dunaway asks the obvious, “What can we do to prevent a tick bite?”

The answer is a list of suggestions many already know. Cut your long grass. Wear long sleeved shirts and pants when outside in the woods. Dr. Molaei also recommends wearing light colored clothing and notes that DEET does offer protection to a certain extent, and is the only “efficient repellent.” In short, be aware of your surroundings, and follow simple rules to protect yourself.

 

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