Ticks are booming coast to coast and around the globe. In the US, only the islands aren’t experiencing a boom in ticks—and with new communities suddenly exposed, spreading awareness is more important than ever.
Ticks aren’t being tracked as well as mosquitoes. The threat of Zika, Yellow Fever, Dengue, West Nile Virus, and a host of new tropical diseases spread by mosquitoes seems to loom larger than Lyme Disease. But Lyme Disease is it’s own torture and can become chronic, either through reinfection, damage from inflammation, and new tick-borne illnesses are equally concerning. The midwest is facing the risk that a tick bite could lead to a red meat allergy.
But beyond Lyme Disease, there are other tick borne illnesses that people are less aware of: Rocky Mountain spotted fever, babesiosis, anaplasmosis and Colorado tick fever. Every state has its own ticks and diseases, and many of them are spreading faster than Lyme Disease, but getting far less attention. Here’s a brief run down of the major ones:
Babesiosis: This is a parasitic disease (like malaria) found in the US, Europe, and Australia. In the US, it’s mostly in the Northeast and northern Midwest. While many healthy people won’t get symptoms, those that do will have malaise, fatigue, fever, and often, destruction of red blood cells and lower platelet counts.
Rocky Mountain Spotted Fever: While it’s found mostly in the Eastern US, it’s on both coasts. Early symptoms are general viral symptoms (fever, nausea, muscle pain, headache) and difficult to diagnose until the later rash develops.
Anaplasmosis: Symptoms include anemia (often severe), as well as diarrhea, anorexia, and weight loss. Anaplasmosis is mostly found in the South and West of the US.
Colorado tick fever: Colorado tick fever comes with two rounds of viral symptoms (AKA flu-like symptoms). It can incubate for a few days or a few weeks before having roughly 3 days on-3 days off-3 days on symptoms period. It’s found mostly in the western US and Canada.
Red Meat Allergy: Not caused by a pathogen, ticks “transmit” red meat allergy when they spread a sugar that animals have to humans that humans don’t, triggering an allergic reaction. Ticks causing a red meat allergy is relatively new, but cases are developing readily—mostly in the South, Midwest, and East.
Watching for tick bites, being aware of exposure risk—which can happen in your own backyard—and knowing symptoms so you can advocate for yourself is important. Even in areas where doctors are familiar with tick borne illness, getting a diagnosis can be difficult. In areas where ticks and tick borne illness are newer, it can be near impossible!
In addition to advocating for yourself, make sure you’re supporting your immune system with healthy habits, and additional support from a supplement like colloidal silver.
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