We’ve talked about Lyme disease before here at Meryl’s Termite and Pest Control. To the best of my recollection thinking back to the late 1970s, Lyme disease was pretty much limited to the north east. Originally from New York, it was something I was very aware of and something to take precautions for. Since those many years ago much has changed and not for the better. Over the years I’ve learned that Lyme disease can be contract ted from as far south as our state of Florida, and as far west as California.
The latest grim news is that a new bacteria is making Lyme disease even worse than before according to the scientists from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Also, the Mayo Clinic has confirmed that they have discovered a second bacteria called Borrelia mayonii. To the best of our knowledge in can infect people bitten by the black-legged deer tick and yes, they are here in Florida.
Reports say that the new bacteria causes similar symptoms in the early stage of infection. The symptoms include fever, headache, rash, and body aches including neck pain and arthritis. The new bacteria causes nausea and vomiting adding to the original symptoms. It also may cause a different kind of rash unlike the classic bull’s-eye rash which was unmistakable. Neurological symptoms can occur as well as a higher concentration of the bacteria can be found in the blood.
Risk factors include doing outside activities that increase tick exposure (for example, gardening, hunting, or hiking) in an area where ticks are known to occur, having a pet that may carry ticks home, and walking in high grasses. When doing outdoor activities you can wear a product that contains deet which should help, but it’s not a 100% guarantee that you won’t get bitten. This is where a thorough “tick check” comes in when you are done with your activity and before you get into the shower. Also, tucking in pants into socks may help (although you will look silly) and wearing light colored clothing. It’s easier to spot the ticks on white.
Lyme disease just got worse…