Ticks me off

Wednesday, July 3, 2019

I don't like ticks. Ticks carry many different disease causing agents and spread them through their attachment to our bodies. This is called vectoring. I'm surprised at how itchy and long-lasting the bite can be. I'm humbled by the tick and how well it does its ugly job.


Many diseases are directly linked to tick bites. Fortunately, most of the diseases won't happen if you remove the tick quickly and don't give it the chance to vector bacteria or another nasty called protozoa. Deer ticks vector at least two different bacteria and protozoa creating Lyme's disease. Rocky Mountain Spotted Fever (RMSF) can come from the ticks found on dogs and is caused by a bacteria. RMSF is the most common tick born illness in these parts. But the one that I think is the nastiest (all are ugly) is caused by a bacteria vectored by the Lone Star tick causing Human ehrlichiosis.


I like the website http://www.uaex.edu/Other_Areas/publications/pdf/FSA-7047.pdf as it is authoritative for our area and easy to read. It gives all the information needed. If a tick attaches, with clean hands and fingernails pull it out with steady pressure. Clean the bite and dab with tea tree or grapefruit seed extract.


With our huge deer/tick population, Lyme's disease is what people think about. Current thinking is that the tick has to attached for over 24 hours. The "bulls-eye" pattern shows up most of the time but not always. If treated early, this often clears up. If not, a person can suffer for a lifetime.


RMSF can produce flu-like symptoms and often produces a rash. Flu is not common in the summertime but tick bites are, so even if you do not have a rash get treatment right away.


Human ehrlichiosis is not as common here but it can be life-threatening and it does come from the most common tick. Early symptoms are flu like without rash in adults but with rash in about 60 percent of kids.


Diagnostic testing takes time and immediate treatment is needed so labs may or may not be done. Get prompt medical treatment and add high dose Monolaurin to synergistically work with the antibiotics. Don't take chances on treatment. I'd also do an immune booster like mushroom extracts and add probiotics. Preventing the bite in the first place makes a lot of good sense. For this purpose, I like a pump spray topically of Cactus Juice which is naturally made from prickly pear.

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