Each year, the region of the US that has Lyme Disease gets a little bigger—it’s not just the Northeast anymore. More than half of US counties have Lyme Disease, and as the weather heats up and humans build more homes next to nature, the risk of getting bit by a Lyme Disease carrying tick goes up.
With its bullseye rash and occasional infected celebrity, Lyme Disease is the most famous US tick borne illness. But there’s a close cousin to Lyme Disease with the same symptoms, minus the rash, there’s babesiosis, and several other US tick diseases. Pretty much every state has one or two of its own.
Without a tick or a rash, getting a Lyme Disease diagnosis can be hard, especially in areas where it’s new or uncommon. With even less fame, doctors can have trouble picking up on the symptoms and making a diagnosis of other tick borne illnesses. Checking for ticks and watching for symptoms are critical, because most people with a tick borne illness will end up having to advocate for themselves.
And then… there’s the risk of tick diseases from abroad making it into the US, which could present a problem much bigger than zika, ebola, or some of the other recent threats we’ve faced. Ticks live everywhere, even Antarctica, and while each disease is carried only be certain kinds, human travel, destruction of the environment, and other factors are spreading ticks and bringing them into closer contact not just with humans, but pets, cattle, sheep, and other animals that are a part of human society that can become good reservoirs for these illnesses.
The worst case scenario might be Crimean-Congo hemorrhagic fever (CCHF). Yep, another hemorrhagic fever, like ebola. It has no treatment, and a high death rate. The WHO consider it a bit enough risk that their guiding funding and research to a solution.
Another potential tick catastrophe is severe fever with thrombocytopenia syndrome virus, or SFTS virus. Recently discovered in Asia, not much is known except it seems to spread easily and for some, symptoms are severe.
What can you do? Start by being aware of ticks. Take time to do a tick check after every hike or jaunt into nature, make your yard less tick friendly, and watch out for ticks on pets, too. You can also prepare yourself with daily immune support from colloidal silver. Immune support doesn’t just help against ticks, but other illnesses like cold and flu, too.
What are your thoughts on tick borne illness?