Tuesday, March 11, 2008

Tick Talk

It's that time of year. Actually, even on warm winter days, ticks can, and will, become active. We've dealt with ticks here our entire lives. As a child, we thought they dropped from the trees in the woods. But, we only had to deal with dog ticks then.
Years later, the deer ticks invaded. Deer ticks are now much more prevalent than the much easier to deal with dog ticks.
Now, a new menace in the vicious Lone Star tick. When they first arrived, we thought they were chiggers. Those of us who frequented the woods in certain areas, were being attacked around the lower legs by something. The itching would last for weeks, and the scars for months.
We have now come to know that these maladies were the result of Lone Star ticks, a new arrival to New York.
Many folks believe that they came up from the South on the turkeys that were reintroduced to Long Island. The timetable does appear to lead credence to that theory.

Here's more info on the Lone Star

Lone Star tick migrates to Long Island
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An aggressive type of tick known as the Lone Star is raising new concerns about Lyme disease on Long Island, N.Y.
New York state health officials say the Lone Star, which migrated from the southeastern United States, has gained a foothold in parks and woodlands and is increasing in numbers, Newsday reports.

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the Lone Star is more dangerous than deer ticks because it can detect a host, including humans, at a distance. Deer ticks wait for direct contact to attach to a host.

In recent years thousands of people have contracted Lyme disease on Long Island.

The bacterial infection is most often carried by ticks and can have long-term, devastating effects.

Although it can be cured with antibiotics, health officials say Lyme disease is often overlooked or misdiagnosed due to the small size of tick bites and the similarity between its symptoms and those of other illnesses.

Copyright 2006 by United Press International

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