When warm weather sends people outside, some of them face strong pests. Head lice look for blood in the most difficult places in the human body and put you at risk of Lyme disease. Here’s what you need to know about staying safe.
When warm weather sends people outside, some find tenacious pests without respecting social distance.
Forget about 6 feet apart: Fleas look for blood in the most difficult places in the human body.
Many of these ticks are infected Lyme disease. The disease, which was first identified in Connecticut in the 1970s, was found in countries in the northern hemisphere. This is the most common congenital disease in the United States and Europe.
And the area where Lyme disease is found to develop.
Lyme disease is increased in Britain, and climate change is projected to worsen the spread of Lyme throughout northern Europe.
According to the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, there is now a high incidence of exposure in the Midwestern, Northeastern and mid-Atlantic states.
And although it’s still too early to say how bad ticks are this year, several indicators show a population surge in the early part of the season in the United States. Reported sightings of fleas through crowdsourced University of Rhode Island TickSpotters the survey rose 80% in March compared to last year.
That doesn’t mean the flea population has increased that much. Program director, anatomist Thomas Mather – you can call him “The Tick Guy“- said the increase could reflect a higher number of ticks, people spending more time outside or a combination of two factors.
The flea population tends to fluctuate throughout the season, said Mather, who is a professor in the department of plant science and entomology at the University of Rhode Island. “What we see in real time is not always a good prediction for what can happen a month or two months from now.”
In April and May, the report was closer to what Mather saw in 2019. But even if the flea rate remained stable for the remainder of the warm weather months, meeting with small arachnids would remain a serious problem.
Not only can ticks carry Lyme disease, they can also carry other diseases. When left untreated, some of them can be deadly to humans and pets.
And when a sunny day sends people out to breathe fresh air in the middle of a pandemic, the risk of contracting an infectious disease or infection increases wherever it can be found. Here’s what you need to know about staying safe this year.
What is the most serious louse disease?
Worrying about a coronavirus pandemic doesn’t mean other threats have disappeared.
“There are many pathogens that originate from tick increased, “Said Allison Gardner, medical entomologist and assistant professor of arthropod vector biology at the University of Maine.
Gardner notes that the United States faces a parasitic infection babesiosis; it is also found in Europe.
Bacterial disease anaplasmosis is a major problem in the United States too, and has become a more serious threat in the last two decades. More than 6,000 cases reported to CDC in 2018, up from 348 cases in 2000, when data for the disease was first collected.
Like Lyme disease, the early symptoms of anaplasmosis include fever, cold, headaches, and muscle aches. Antibiotics are effective against anaplasmosis, but if left untreated, this disease can be fatal. Those with an immune system that are threatened are very high risk.
In Europe, encephalitis transmitted through viral mites is a problem, with 3,092 confirmed cases in European Union countries in 2018. There is an effective vaccine against this disease, which can cause fever, headaches, paralysis and seizures. (Other flea-borne diseases in Europe include recurrent lice-transmitted fever, Crimea-Congo dengue and Mediterranean spotted fever.)
The dangers transmitted through lice that are most common in the United States and Europe, however, are still from Lyme disease. And most cases may not be detected.
About 30,000 diagnoses of Lyme disease reported to the CDC every year, but the agency estimates that actual cases in the United States may be 10 times higher than that. A 2016 report in the Journal of Public Health estimates 85,000 annual Lyme cases in Europe, noting that reporting is inconsistent and that many of these cases are likely to be undiagnosed.
Early symptoms of Lyme disease include fever, cold, headaches, muscle aches, and bull’s eye rash that develops due to the bite itself. (Although rashes are a well-known sign of infection, they occur in 70% to 80% of cases.)
If left untreated, symptoms of Lyme disease can eventually worsen including facial palsy, palpitations and severe joint pain.
Stay safe outdoors
Gardner, a University of Maine medical entomologist, spent his days in the field dragging brightly colored cloth through a flea habitat. Fleas grip the fabric, where their dark bodies appear clearly.
That is a research trick that you can adapt to protect yourself. “Brightly colored clothing can make it easier for you to see fleas in yourself,” said Gardner, whose work often makes him close to small creatures.
Other ways to protect against head lice include putting pants into socks. Because fleas crawl from the ground, this makes it easier to find them before they slip under your clothes.
There are also ways to protect areas outside your home from lice. University of Rhode Island’s online Tick Encounter Resource Center recommends a variety home project, starting with sweeping the leaves, cutting off branches that hang low and cutting back bushes.
The type of plant you have on the lawn is also important. Studies in the United States have found very high rates of ticks in places with invasive plants Japanese Barberry and honeysuckle bush, both were introduced as ornamental plants.
“Eliminating these invasive plants in the landscape has the added benefit of inhibiting exposure to transmitted pathogens,” Gardner said.
Look for fleas – and what to do if you find it
Even if you practice careful flea safety when outside, it is important to check yourself and your children about lice when you return.
That means a full body check: Partner with someone who can examine every corner of your body, or use a hand-held mirror to peek into places that are hard to see. Some places where lice are easily missed include your ears, in your navel, under your arms and behind your knees.
(A careful examination should take one or two minutes – long enough to listen to a few verses “Tick,” a Brad Paisley song that’s the unofficial track safety of vector-borne diseases.)
Rinsing can also help. Bathing within two hours after entering into the can reduce risk Lyme disease, according to the CDC. When exposed to water, lice that are not bound can easily wash away the gutters.
You should check your clothes too. If you are worried there might still be fleas on your clothes, dry it for 10 minutes with high heat will turn off all the clothes hangers, because washing alone will not work.
If you find fleas on your skin, it’s important to do so Get rid of it immediately.
Prepare fine-tipped tweezers, and use tweezers to hold the tick near the skin, then pull firmly and gently. (This CDC fact sheet show the process in more detail.)
If you experience a rash or fever within a few weeks of finding lice, contact your health care provider.
In areas with a high incidence of Lyme disease, it is a good idea to keep checking in; depending on how long the tick has been installed or attached, the provider can recommend further treatment or monitoring.
How about your pet?
There are two considerations in terms of pets and tick security: keeping them safe, and making sure you don’t get hit by the tick they bring home.
In the United States, dogs are susceptible to tick-borne Lyme disease, ehrlichiosis, Rocky Mountain spotted fever, hepatozoonosis, anaplasmosis and babesiosis. European dog owners must also be on the lookout for babesiosis.
Some of these diseases can be fatal.
Profit, dogs can be vaccinated fight the bacteria that causes Lyme disease. (Even during a pandemic, many veterinarians are open for treatment, including vaccinations.)
For protection from other threats, Tick Encounter University of Rhode Island recommends combining vaccinations with additions tick-preventative maintenance.
Cats don’t seem to be susceptible to Lyme disease. However, in the southern United States, they can catch Cytauxzoon felis which is transmitted through lice, a parasitic disease that is often fatal. To protect your cat and household, it is important to use flea prevention care if the animal spends time outside the home.
For cats and dogs, like humans, a thorough visual check is also a good way to filter fleas. (Read CDC tips for removing fleas from pets here.)
This is a habit that will protect your pet, while preventing arachnids from sticking to a vulnerable human food source: you.
to request modification Contact us at Here or [email protected]