By MAGGIE M, Editor, the wedge.LIVE
Tick season is about to begin again, late Spring. Why is this story so important? The number of people this writer has come across–here in our own backyard–diagnosed with Lyme Disease, in just a few towns, reveals much. I have even met the widow of a man who died of Lyme last year–so it can be fatal.
Among notables who suffer from this tick-borne disease, our own Avril Lavigne. Like many, she was dismissed by doctors. She shared her experience tearfully on a television broadcast.
People who suffer from Lyme are in extreme pain among many symptoms. They tend to be bed-ridden, unable to do mundane tasks. They need care.
Early signs of a tick bite are a red rash–it may not be the standard red target rash we hear of. You will have joint pain, headaches and a fever, fairly quickly. Trust your own instincts when visiting doctors–make that visit promptly.
Several people I met who were bitten by ticks and recovered quickly reported they were diagnosed by doctors aware of this disease. Many doctors misdiagnose the symptoms. The victims have repeatedly said this. The doctors who are aware, administer antibiotics for an extended period. Canada has an unimpressive record here.
Not all ticks carry pathogens I have read; but, don’t let this lessen your vigilance. And don’t let it paralyze you! If this story saves one person, it was worth it.
Here is how you can avoid being the victim of this tiny arachnid carrying multiple pathogens. First, know that it is not just piggy-backing on deer. All mammals are able to carry ticks–even your domestic pets. The most common are mice, squirrels and birds. This portends that no grounds are off the table, even in the suburbs.
The heaviest concentrations of ticks would be in heavy foliage, moist and shaded areas. Ticks don’t do well in the sun.
There are three species in North America. Here in Ontario, the government of Canada reports the blacklegged tick is the most identified specie. Read their website page here for locations and activities most at risk.
Don’t expect to feel a tick bite because they actually numb their host. You will not feel a tick; but, you can see it.
Now, that you have a basic introduction, here are critical steps you can take to prevent health challenges from ticks.
- Wear long socks over long pant legs–it’s a hot new look! Ticks love soft spots like the back of knees and groins. If you do not create a barrier they will crawl up and you will not feel or see them.
- Wear a brimmed hat. Yes they can drop from above. It is hard to stop them on your head or in you hair.
- Pull your hair back or tuck it in. They are like Tarzan clinging to a vine. If it’s not too hot wear a cotton scarf.
- Tuck in your clothes so there is a barrier to your flesh. Tuck in shirts too.
- Wear light colored clothing, from top to bottom, so you can see them.
- Carry tweezers at all times in these environments. Remove them nearest to the point of entry if they are bored in. It would be wise to have a small container to place them in for lab analysis. (Dollar stores stock these.)
- Check your pets as they come in. Ticks seem to love the underside of their ears. Again, pick them off with tweezers close to the bite. Do not use your hands. These ticks can hop off your pets and onto any human nearby. In the container one goes–the rest I would drown in bleached water then flush. These are powerful pathogens.
- The greatest feeding time is when they are nymphs i.e. young and the smallest size. They may look like a black poppy seed. The largest are as big as a sesame seed. Males die after a bite. Females lay many, many eggs (it looks like caviar.)
- Have a hand held mirror handy to check yourself well if you do not have another pair of eyes. It may take you 10 minutes–time well spent!
- Mow your lawns, and cut back brush, plants from walkways where they hang around on tall plants waiting to aero-plane onto a host.
- Sandals are best for the beach, the boat or concrete walks–not walks in the forests or wild environments. Yes, that includes camping grounds. US camping grounds are now posting metal signs warning visitors of ticks–fertile areas for ticks across North America.
- Cover yourself with a pest repellent. Doctors don’t like DEET as it is toxic. Try natural repellents. Cinnamon leaf oil and oil of lemon eucalyptus are reported by doctors as more effective than DEET. You can make you own mixture in a spray bottle. * There is a growing consensus that mosquitoes may also carry these pathogens. If this can be corroborated, all the more reason to cover up and use repellents. I found Dr. Mercola’s page very helpful here : https://articles.mercola.com/sites/articles/archive/2015/05/25/natural-insect-repellents.aspx
- Do you know why it is called Lyme Disease? Because the first identification of the ticks carrying myriad pathogens was in the town of Lyme, Connecticut. Story here : https://health.usnews.com/health-conditions/infectious-diseases/lyme-disease/overview
- Lyme is on mainland US, app. 20 kms from Plum Island where a disease laboratory was conducting bio-warfare experiments with ticks since the 40s and 50s. That’s very close–way too close.
FOR THOSE WITH LYME DISEASE:
This story isn’t helpful for those already afflicted. That will be the next story. Lyme is very complex and the last thing you need is a post from a “cowboy.” My heart aches for all of you–this is the impetus for this prevention story.
Lyme should likely be declared an epidemic. It surely must be supported by Canada with reliable testing–as the tests have proven unreliable, only 15% often quoted as reliable. Many have obtained tests from U.S. for reliable results (I have heard this again and again.)
Doctors must be educated on this serious disease–its many pathogens, their biofilms and vectors. OHIP must cover testing and clinical care (approach PC candidate Christine Elliott to speak out.) Patients are often diagnosed with sudden arthritis or MS, ALS, etc… Often they are told, “it’s all in your head.” (Boy, they are right on that as the pathogens make their way to the brain.)
Antibiotics must be prescribed for the right length of time–7 to 10 days is way too short, the consensus declares. And…independent research must be funded with a sense of emergency! Fund raising to find a way to destroy these pathogens is tardy.
Here are a few videos from doctors researching Lyme:
Dr. Alan MacDonald, “The Biology of Lyme Disease” : https://youtu.be/r8tESJVvM88
Dr. Eva Sapi, “Bacterial Biofilms and Lyme Disease” : https://youtu.be/AmvgOfIN_8c
Support groups have formed here in East Ontario with hundreds attending. I will attend the next to learn from their experiences.
Your comments are welcome.