For years, people in (or going to) the Northeast were warned about ticks: to watch for them after hiking, and to watch for a bullseye rash, the tell-tale sign of Lyme Disease. But we know so much more about ticks and Lyme Disease now, and there are new ticks and tick borne illnesses emerging that everyone, not just those in the Northeast, need to rethink what they know and be aware of tick safety.
The latest development is that a completely new species of tick with a new list of potential diseases to carry has landed in America: the East Asian or Longhorned Tick has mysteriously sprung up in New Jersey. A hardy species, it’s survived the cold Northeast winter and now officials are working to keep it contained.
Two things are concerning about the Longhorned tick (besides it’s unexplained arrival): it doesn’t need sex to breed, and it can carry a whole host of diseases, from the familiar Lyme Disease to a bunch of scary new (to America) diseases. The good news is the East Asian Longhorned ticks found in New Jersey have so far not tested positive for disease.
In addition to the new ticks, the old deer ticks are spreading west, and bringing Lyme Disease with them. Other species of ticks, and diseases related to Lyme Disease, are also turning up.
Forget the old hallmarks (deer, limited location, and rashes). Ticks can turn up in your own backyard, and other mammals, like mice, your own dog, and farm animals, might be carrying them close to you. The bullseye rash of Lyme Disease shows up in maybe half of all cases, so it shouldn’t be relied upon.
What you need to do is stay informed, and take action. Tick borne illness can be anywhere. Always check yourself and pets for ticks, and watch for Lyme Disease symptoms like unexplained fatigue and joint pain. Doctors aren’t necessarily aware of the spread and growing threat of ticks, so report time spent outdoors, known tick bites, and relevant travel to help push them into an accurate diagnosis. Unfortunately, many people end up needing a doctor that specializes in tick borne illnesses.
You can also take action by supporting your immune system with colloidal silver. At home, traveling to another state or abroad, make sure that you have a little extra support for the unexpected.
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