Lyme Disease Cases Up, How To Protect Yourself

It seems that Lyme Disease cases reported have surged to new highs so far in 2011. Lymes Disease cases increased from 10,000 in 2002 to 39,500 in 2009. And it seems cases have really accelerated so far in 2011.

It seems the cooler wet weather in the Northeast U.S. this year has created ideal conditions for deer tick breeding. What’s not clear is whether cases are actually increasing, or if better diagnoses are occuring. In the early days of Lymes disease, doctors were not familiar with the disease and were misdiagnosing the disease. These days, with the amount of press on Lymes increasing daily, doctors are much better informed on the disease.
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Luckily, Lymes disease is occurs in relatively small geographical area; the Northeast United States and north into the provinces of Ontario and Quebec in Canada. In fact over 90 % of Lymes Disease cases have been diagnosed in only 12 states.

If you live in the following states, then listen up:

  • Connecticut
  • Delaware
  • Massachusetts
  • Maryland
  • Minnesota
  • Maine
  • New Jersey
  • New Hampshire
  • New York
  • Pennsylvania
  • Virginia
  • Wisconsin

How to Protect Yourself Against Lymes Disease

Besides locking yourself in your house and never going outside in the spring, summer, and fall, here are a few precautions to protect yourself from contracting Lymes Disease:

  • Don’t walk in wooded areas where there is also long grass
  • Stick to well worn paths
  • Use 20% deet bug repellant on skin not covered by clothes
  • As an added precaution, have a shower soon after a walk in the bush
  • If you do find a tick on you, use fine tweezers to slowly lift off the tick, you don’t want to leave any parts of the tick in your skin
  • Clean the area of the tick bite with alcohol and soap and water
  • Be sure to check your dog thoroughly for ticks as well, dogs are also susceptible to ticks and lymes disease!

Be careful out there this summer!

Virginians Seeing Increase In Ticks This Year
NBC Washington, on Sun, 26 Jun 2011 07:16:43 -0700

Virginia Tech grad student Jake Bova is seeing that first-hand this year at Jefferson National Forest, where he’s spending the summer identifying ticks and testing them for Lyme disease. “We’ve seen a hugeincrease in Ixodes scapularis, 

 

Tick population booms in Solano County after wet spring
Contra Costa Times, on Sun, 26 Jun 2011 01:17:22 -0700

He explained that farmers and even commercial exterminators come into his office regularly to identify the type of tick and whether it’s a disease carrier. Ticks are known for being a vector, or carrier, of a number of diseases including Lyme disease

Lyme Disease-Carrying Ticks In Greater Numbers Than Ever
Secaucus New Jersey News, on Sat, 25 Jun 2011 12:57:39 -0700

University of Rhode Island entomologist Thomas Mather, director of the URI Center for Vector-Borne Disease, has stated that deer tick nymphs have gone through an increase of 52 in comparison to the amount that were found in 2010.