Monday, June 15, 2015

Lyme Disease...where is it?

I have left this blog mostly vacant for the last few years, since leaving the health department,
but lately I have had some stirrings and this one happened at the ground breaking for the new carousel at the Mill River Park.
I was not aware of this event, but saw a steam shovel for a few days and today a crowd of people...
I walked over to find out what was happening.  I believe i only saw one person i knew, but he was engaged with a number of other people.
I sent over to a table with a bunch of goodies on it and notice the grass was tall...
I could only think of ticks.
I asked what was going on and was told it was the ground breaking for the Carousel and i replied that it was a good place
and then i did what i always do, spoke what was on my mind...."except that the grass is tall and invites ticks and i should know cause this was what i worked with at the health department for 33 years.:
The first person i spoke to, walked away with an annoyed look on her face.
The others looked questioningly at me and i repeated myself and another said; "certainly not here".
I realized i was dealing with ignorance with the unwillingness to learn anything, i walked away.
I learned much about these awful insects for many years while i worked and shared my knowledge daily.
I learned from people who knew about predators and their impact on the population of small mammals, like the white footed mouse and chipmunks, who are the primary host of Lyme disease.
I learned that as suburbia moved the predators away, those small mammals increased.
The animal most people think of when they think of mammals and Lyme disease is the deer, yet the deer does not carry, nor transmit Lyme, but it does help the tick over winter.
So do those other small mammals, which will carry and transmit Lyme.
Deer have been seen near down town on summer street, mice are every where.
I would simply say there is no grassy area that is immune from this scourge and precautions must be kept in mind.
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