Finding an engorged tick on your body is indisputably one of the most repulsive and creepy things ever. It makes most people itch just thinking about it. Unfortunately, getting queasy thinking about tick bites is just the tip of the iceberg. Ticks carry a number of diseases that can do much more than just “gross you out!”
Though they are known agents of disease, not all ticks transmit disease – in fact, many ticks do not even carry diseases. However, the threat of disease is always present where ticks are concerned, and these risks should always be taken seriously. Most tick borne diseases take several hours to transmit to the host, so the sooner one is located and removed the better. Symptoms of most tick-borne diseases include fever and lethargy, though some can also cause weakness, lameness, joint swelling and/or anemia. Signs may take days, weeks or even months to appear. The most common diseases spread by ticks include: Lyme disease, Ehrlichiosis, Rocky Mountain spotted fever, Anaplasmosis, and Babesiosis. In our region of the United States Lyme Disease is the biggest threat. In addition a new threat can been making it;s name known around the New England area – Powassan Virus.
Lyme Disease – According to the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) approximately 30,000 cases of Lyme disease are reported across the U.S. each year. However, this number does not reflect every case of Lyme disease that occurs in the United States every year because only a fraction of illnesses are actually reported. Lyme Disease can cause fatigue, headache, stiff neck, fever, sore muscles and joints, and sometimes a red rash that looks like a bull’s-eye. Long term antibiotics usually help treat the disease. Sadly, if you don’t get treated right away, Lyme disease can cause serious problems with the joints, nervous system, and heart.
Powassan virus (POW) – Approximately 60 cases of POW virus disease were reported in the United States over the past 10 years. Most cases have occurred in the Northeast and Great Lakes region. Signs and symptoms of infection can include fever, headache, vomiting, weakness, confusion, seizures, and memory loss. Long-term neurological problems may occur. There is no specific treatment, but people with severe POW virus illnesses often need to be hospitalized to receive respiratory support, intravenous fluids, or medications to reduce swelling in the brain. (Source- CDC)
Next week we will be discussing prevention tips to keep you and your family safe from the dangers of tick borne diseases. If you have questions or would like Peace of Mind to treat your yard call us soon.