Lyme disease and Rocky Mountain Spotted Fever are very serious bacterial infections caused by ticks that affect humans and animals. Symptoms can be severe and include: chills, fever, muscle pain and a whole array of nasty events.
Lyme disease was first discovered in Lyme, CT, in 1975. A corkscrew-shaped bacterium, Borrelia burgdorferi, of the spirochetes family, is the pathogen behind the disease. Lyme disease is transmitted, year round, in the U.S. by a variety of ticks of the genus Ixodes: the deer tick (Northeast and North-Central), the Western black-legged tick (Pacific Coast), and the black-legged tick (Southeast). The disease can afflict other animals (dogs, for instance, which develop arthritic symptoms).
Diseases transmitted by ticks:
- Anaplasmosis (annually strikes about 600 Americans).
- Babesiosis parasite (mainly in the Northeast and upper Midwestern U.S.).
- Crimean-Congo hemorrhagic fever (not present in the U.S.).
- Ehrlichiosis (incidence has been rising steadily with almost 600 U.S. cases in 2005).
- Lyme disease (tens of thousands of cases across the U.S.) Borrelia burgdorferi spirochete bacteria.
- Rocky Mountain spotted fever (250-1200 cases annually across the U.S.).
- Southern tick-associated rash illness (transmitted by Lone Star ticks in the southeastern U.S.).
- Tick-borne relapsing fever (usually linked to stays at rustic cabins in the mountains of the Western U.S.).
- Tularemia (annually afflicts around 200 Americans).
- Colorado tick fever (Western U.S. at elevations above 5,000 ft.).
- Powassan encephalitis (Northeastern U.S.; rare).
Lyme disease can infect various parts of the body, exhibiting different symptoms at different times. Patients will not necessarily display all symptoms. A key symptom, a circular rash called erythema migrans, is often the first sign of infection, appearing in 70%-80% of cases. The rash initiates at the site of the tick bite approximately 3-30 days after the bite. The rash will gradually expand over several days to as large as 12 inches across. The center may clear as the rash develop, producing a “bull’s eye” effect. Some patients develop additional erythema migrans in other areas after several days. The rash can be warm, but typically isn’t painful. Other symptoms include fatigue, chills, fever, headache, muscle and joint aches, swollen lymph nodes.
Late symptoms if untreated – the infection may spread after a few days or weeks and produce additional symptoms:
- Bell’s palsy, a loss of muscle tone on one or both sides of the face.
- Severe headaches and neck stiffness due to meningitis.
- Shooting pains.
- Heart palpitations
- Joint and Muscular pain.
After several months, symptoms may include:
- Intermittent bouts of arthritis, with severe joint pain and swelling, particularly in the knees and large joints.
- Numbness or tingling in the hands or feet.
- Problems concentrating.
- Short-term memory loss.
Education about Lyme disease, avoidance and protection are highly recommended in the prevention of this serious infections and its potential complications. More specifically:
- Avoid wooded, brushy, and grassy areas, especially in May, June, and July. (Contact the local health department or park/extension service for information on the prevalence of ticks in specific areas).
- Wear light-colored clothing so that you can see ticks that get
- Wear long pants and long-sleeved shirts.
- Wear shoes that cover the entire foot.
- Tuck pant legs into socks or shoes, and tuck shirts into pants.
- Wear a hat for extra protection.
- Spray insect repellent on exposed skin areas and clothing.
- Walk in the center of trails to avoid brush and grass.
- Remove your clothing, and wash and dry them at high temperatures after being outdoors.
- Do a careful body check for ticks after outdoor activities.
- Consume lots of fresh garlic uncooked; at least one clove per day.
- Pick up and house a few free-roaming Guinea hens – they eat all ticks and are a natural environmental repellent!
TICK REMOVAL: To remove a tick from your skin, firmly grasp it with tweezers as close to the skin surface as possible, and pull the tick away from your skin in a steady motion.
WEST NILE VIRUS is a serious disease transmitted to humans by mosquitoes. Every year hundreds of cases are reported, and possibly many hundreds more go undiagnosed or misdiagnosed. The disease can present in a mild fever form or a severe encephalitic form.
ENCEPHALITIS can result from several mosquito-borne viruses.
HEARTWORM is a parasitic roundworm (Dirofilaria immitis) that infects dogs and other animals. The heartworm larva is carried by mosquito from host to host where it then proceeds through a variety of life stages. As a young adult, the heartworm takes up residence in the right ventricle of the host’s heart where it grows to impressive lengths. It is of the greatest concern in canines, where it more frequently leads to serious repercussions. Cats’ systems aren’t particularly hospitable to heartworms, so infection is much less of a concern. However, some cats do get heartworm and it can be serious or fatal.
TICKED OFF – Solution and Prevention
The best solution and prevention for both humans and animals is a synergistic formula. It is an effective alternative to DEET and all FRONT line products. While very toxic to ticks and mosquitoes, it is completely safe and non-toxic for use on humans and animals. In a 12-16 ounce glass spray bottle (or PVC-free plastic bottle), mix the following embryonic plant extracts with 50% equal amounts of all 4 plant extracts and distilled water:
- Cedar of Lebanon – Cedrus Libani (young shoots) 15 ml
- Juniper – Juniperus Communis (young shoots) 15 ml
- Lemon Tree – Citrus Limonum (embryonic bark) 15 ml
- Rosemary – Rosmarinus Officinalis (young shoots) 15 ml
Keep away from the eyes only, and excessive heat or bright light. Spray every day to all exposed parts of the body and also on all clothing that is directly involved in the exposure of such risk infestation. Repeat every time you have washed the exposed part of the body. This solution will last for three months then must be discarded.
Biological Tick Control with Cedar of Lebanon – Cedrus Libani (young shoots) was the most toxic to all three arthropod test species. The order of increasing susceptibility of these oils against mosquitoes, ticks, and fleas was Cedar together with Juniper – Juniperus Communis (young shoots), Lemon Tree – Citrus Limonum (bark) and Rosemary – Rosmarinus Officinalis (young shoots).
Insecticidal and Ascaricidal Activity against Deer Ticks – Ixodes scapularis Say nymphs, Xenopsylla cheopis (Rothchild), and Aedes aegypti (L.) adults. An informal study conducted on 11 farmers in New York State, which had repeated Lyme disease from their unprotected farming practices were all monitored over a period of three years.
An informal clinical study was conducted
We were approached by a group of eleven organic farmers who were looking for a natural alternative to toxic DEET in the prevention of mosquito and tick born infections. For 10 years, each summer, while working, they had repeatedly contracted co-infections from Lyme disease. These individuals, one female and ten males were given a mixture of 4 embryonic plant extracts with equal amounts of distilled water. They sprayed the mixture throughout the day as needed and were instructed to reapply upon excessive sweating. All eleven participants experienced an infection-free season. This mixture prevented any ticks from adhesion to their skin or clothing. Never once over this trial period did they contract Lyme disease and its co-infections. This informal study clearly demonstrated the effectiveness of repellency with the four combined plants and warranted further investigative studies. Not only is it a useful repellent for the United States but also for world travelers to use in countries where protection from malaria and Dengue fever, both transmitted by mosquitos, are needed. We have several patients who have reported no infection from their travels to remote places in Africa and South America when using this mixture.
Lautin Andrew MD, and Dominique Richard October 2, 2012 not formally published being an in-house clinical practice study.