Feel ill and Don't Know Why?
It's that time of year where many people are or will be spending more time in the great outdoors as the weather becomes warm again and what a wonderful thing that is for those of us who like being out in nature. Do you like spending time in wooded areas such as hiking, jogging, and/or camping and hunting but can't enjoy it like you used to? Did you at some point get bit by what you thought was a spider or something that you thought was maybe a beetle and start feeling ill and don't know why? In some cases it can be caused by a bacteria infected tick bite that leaves long term havoc on your immune system and nervous system not to forget peace of mind due to something called Lyme disease.
Lyme disease is spread by the bite of an infected tick. In the United States, an estimated 300,000 infections occur each year. If you camp, hike, work, or play in wooded or grassy places, you could be bitten by an infected tick, sometimes known as a deer tick.
People living in or visiting New England, the mid-Atlantic states, and the upper Midwest are at greatest risk in the USA but there are places in Canada where some Candians have been contracting Lyme disease from infected tick bites. But you and your family can prevent tick bites and reduce your risk of Lyme disease.
The signs and symptoms of Lyme disease vary and usually appear in stages. Lyme disease, which is caused by the bacterium Borrelia burgdorferi, is transmitted to humans through the bite of an infected tick. It is the most common tickborne infectious disease in the United States. The blacklegged tick (Ixodes scapularis) is responsible for causing Lyme disease in North America, Europe, and Asia. Ixodes ticks spread other infectious agents as well, including those that cause human babesiosis, human granulocytic anaplasmosis, tick-borne relapsing fever, and Powassan encephalitis.
Early signs and symptomsA small, red bump often appears at the site of a tick bite or tick removal and resolves over a few days. This is normal after a tick bite and does not indicate Lyme disease.
However, these signs and symptoms may occur within a month after you've been infected:
Here is a More detailed list of symptoms of Lyme disease:
Head, Face, Neck
When to see a doctor if you've been bitten by a tick and have symptoms Only a minority of blacklegged tick bites leads to Lyme disease. The longer the tick remains attached to your skin, the greater your risk of getting the disease. Lyme infection is unlikely if the tick is attached for less than 36 to 48 hours.
If you think you've been bitten and have signs and symptoms of Lyme disease — particularly if you live in an area where Lyme disease is prevalent — contact your doctor. Treatment for Lyme disease is more effective if begun early.
See your doctor even if symptoms disappear It's important to consult your doctor even if signs and symptoms disappear — the absence of symptoms doesn't mean the disease is gone. Left untreated, Lyme disease can spread to other parts of your body from several months to years after infection, causing arthritis and nervous system problems. Ticks also can transmit other illnesses, such as babesiosis and Colorado tick fever.
There is hope for those who have contracted Lyme disease though as many kinds of new research has shown promise in battling and possibly curing Lyme disease. The NIH in the USA has published promising research being conducted to help the multitudes of people worldwide that are infected every year.
Deciphering the Ixodes genome would provide a powerful resource to help find ways of controlling these diseases. An international team headed by Dr. Catherine A. Hill of Purdue University worked for years to decipher the tick’s complicated genome. Ixodes ticks have 3 blood-feeding life stages and feed on a different vertebrate animal during each one. Because genes may switch on or off depending on the life stage of the tick, the ticks need to be cultured and collected at each stage for analysis. The study was supported by NIH’s National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID) and National Institute of General Medical Sciences (NIGMS). Results appeared on February 9, 2016, in Nature Communications.
The researchers determined that the Ixodes genome has about 2.1 billion DNA base pairs. A large portion of the genome—about 70% of the total—consists of expansive regions where sequences are repeated. This made assembling the full genome in the correct order very difficult. In the end, the team was able to determine the order and sequence of about two-thirds of the total genome—more than 20,000 protein-coding genes. About 20% of these, the researchers believe, may be unique to ticks.
The scientists identified genes and protein families that shed light on why Ixodes ticks succeed so well as parasites and hint at the reasons they excel at spreading pathogens. For example, compared with other blood-feeders, ticks have many more proteins devoted to consuming, concentrating, and detoxifying their iron-containing food. Although mosquitoes have several proteins dedicated to blood digestion, ticks have many more proteins involved in this process.
In an effort to explain regional variations in Lyme disease prevalence across the United States, the team also examined genetic diversity among I. scapularis populations from several states. They detected subtle genetic differences that may help explain some of the variance in the ability to transmit disease.
“The genome gives us a code book to the inner workings of ticks,” Hill says. “With it, we can now begin to hack their system and write a counter-script against them.” To read more and if you would liek to support research to battle this sometime dabilitating disease that affect so many people worldwide including celebrities that have come forward to speak out about why the research is important and how the contracting teh disease has been for them to increase awareness and research like Avril Lavigne for example, you can go to the source links at the bottom of this article. Before gardening, camping, hiking, or just playing outdoors, make preventing tick bites part of your plans.
Examples of different kinds of tick bites that are infected with Lyme Disease bacteria:
Protect Yourself from Tick BitesKnow where to expect ticks. Blacklegged ticks (the ticks that cause Lyme disease) live in moist and humid environments, particularly in and near wooded or grassy areas. You may get a tick on you during outdoor activities around your home or when walking through leaves and bushes. To avoid ticks, walk in the center of trails and avoid walking through tall bushes or other vegetation.
Though Lyme disease cases have been reported in nearly every state, cases are reported from the infected person's county of residence, not the place where they were infected. More Lyme disease data >
Use a repellent with DEET (on skin or clothing, but on full coverage clothing is best as long term use of Deet especially in high does is known to cause cancer, but is also one of the best known agents to deter and stop risky tick bites) or permethrin (on clothing and gear) can be used as suggested by the CDC. Repellents containing 20% or more DEET (N, N-diethyl-m-toluamide) can be applied to the skin and can protect up to several hours. Always follow product instructions! Parents should apply repellents to their children. Do not get repellent on children’s hands or in their eyes or mouth. Products that contain permethrin can be used to treat boots, clothing, and camping gear. Treated items can stay protected through several washings.
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