Tuesday, April 7, 2009

Ticks

Okay, I do not know is it was the strange winter we had (early, snow, the dry and cold, the warmish) or what, but the tick infection rate has changed. The first 6 ticks we had results for were all UNINFECTED!
This is a change because the first ticks we get results for are usually 59% infected then they taper down to about 35%.
I talk a lot about Lyme disease in Ticks because there is so much misinformation out there. there is hysteria and there is a passive "what about it response".
I do take the middle road. There is a lot that can be done effectively now that we know about it.
Then there are the other diseases and it caused me to think, why the focus on Lyme?
There is a simplistic reason.
Lyme is the test that for us humans is still not greatly understood and either is focus on by doctors too much 9ignoring symptoms) or not tested at all. There is a window where the test is best, so it makes sense to test a tick for Lyme.
All of the other diseases including Bartonella there are very good tests for humans and so testing a tick for all of them is not useful.
I say this because we really emphasis symptoms!
Why?
Once I was helping a friend capture some chickens he was raising that had gotten out of his coop (in North Stamford). I had to go through a field and found myself covered with ticks when I got out. It is not the tick that you find that you worry about, IT IS THE TICKS YOU DO NOT FIND that you worry about. They are just too darn small and hide in very difficult areas. Testing the tick you find is good. Checking for ticks is good. Being aware of symptoms after being in an area that ticks probably are, is what it is all about.
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