Posts tagged ‘How to prevent Lyme Disease carrying ticks in your MD backyard this season’

July 7, 2014

Can Lyme Disease Be Transmitted Sexually?

Male and female symbolYou may have heard some discussion lately on the sexual transmission of Lyme Disease.  If you haven’t heard it, you will.  Combine sex with the word disease and you immediately have two subjects in which nearly 100% of the people on earth will be interested.  If advertisers love any news, it is news about subjects that touch people personally.  Sex and disease both fit that criterion.

So what’s the latest information on this subject?  Much of the news is old news.  At the 14th International Scientific Conference on Lyme Disease in April 2001, Dr. Gregory Back presented a paper on “Recovery of Lyme Spirochetes by PCR in Semen Samples of Previously Diagnosed Lyme Disease Patients”.  The first thing to understand about this paper is that 40% of the 132 partners studied (66 couples) were both found to be infected with Lyme Disease.  Lyme Disease, Science and Society looked at this research and after examining the evidence of this early study stated:

There are unanswered questions about this study based on the abstract: We don’t know what kind of microscopic confirmation was conducted and why it was mostly conducted on semen.  We don’t know if patients had other possible routes of exposure to spirochetes.  We don’t know if the DNA sequences recovered matched between sexual partners.  We don’t know whether any of the patients who were sampled had recently taken antibiotics and if the spirochetal DNA that was detected was the result of their bodies trying to purge a massive die-off of spirochetes.  What kind of treatment patients in the study had received so far is an unknown.

Deer tick awaiting a host in Rockville MDAs you can see, the individuals in the study were not tested prior to finding a Lyme infection, in order to establish when the infection occurred.  There was also no evidence of actual transmission or research into the exact origin of the partner’s infection, only evidence that both partners had Lyme Disease.  Since partners live in the same environment, it’s very possible that one partner didn’t remember being bitten by a tick.  Nymph ticks are the size of a poppy-seed and difficult to detect.  Due to their small size, they are often not found by their human host unless seen fully engorged with blood.  Simply stated, it’s a leap to identify two related patients and make a leap that one gave the other any disease.  For example, if a husband has the flu, his wife may think he gave it to her.  In fact, she may have gotten it from someone at work.  Infectious diseases in the real world don’t always neatly move in the direction we expect.

Other studies claim that the spirochetes of syphilis and those of Lyme Disease are similar.  While it’s true they are similar, they do not share the same environmental preferences.  Lyme spirochetes don’t survive very long on the surface of the skin.  However, syphilis spirochetes do very well in moist superficial skin lesions.

If detected during pregnancy, Lyme Disease can be easily treated in the mother with antibiotics that do not harm the fetus.  The CDC says, “Untreated Lyme disease during pregnancy may lead to infection of the placenta and possible stillbirth.”  Lymediseaseassociation.org says, “The bacteria can also be passed through the placenta of a pregnant woman to the fetus—congenital transmission.”  Since a Lyme infection occurs through the blood, it makes sense a fetus can become infected.

When considering breast milk in mothers, the DNA of Lyme Disease has been found.  This does not mean it has been proven that a newborn can get Lyme Disease through breast milk, only that evidence of the disease is present in the milk.  There have not been any cases linking breast milk in the transmission of Lyme Disease.

Researchers know that the Lyme bacteria can survive blood bank storage conditions.  Once again, there have been no suspected cases of Lyme transmission through blood transfusions.  However, animal studies do show that Lyme bacteria can be transmitted through blood transfusions in mice.

EngorgedFemaleDeerTicks

The CDC does not consider the transmission of Lyme Disease through sexual intimacy very likely.  As mentioned earlier, there is anecdotal evidence of possible sexual transmission but much more research needs to be done.  There are already enough sexually transmitted diseases for everyone to be concerned about transmitting to their sexual partners, without knowing if Lyme Disease is one of them.  Taking precautions regarding any infection someone may have, on behalf of sexual partners, should be common sense behavior.

tick_habitatScientists know that it generally takes 24-36 hours before a tick can transmit Lyme Disease through its bite.  Therefore, even with a tick carrying Lyme Disease, it takes some time for the infection to be transmitted.  Once established a Lyme infection can be long-lasting.  Even after successful treatment and test results showing no Lyme Disease is present, Lyme spirochetes, B. burgdorferi, can be present in small numbers in patients for years.  Until further research is done, it only seems prudent to be safe until a physician confirms a Lyme infection no longer exists.

Contact Mosquito Squad of West Montgomery  to learn more about protecting yourself and your family from the risks of tick-borne illnesses such as Lyme Disease in your backyard! Sign up today • (301) 444-5566 • email:westmontco@mosquitosquad.com

 

 

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May 15, 2014

The famous faces of Lyme Disease

The Ixodes scapularis tick (AKA the blacklegged tick or deer tick) carries the bacterium that causes Lyme Disease which is called Borrelia burgdorferi .

The Ixodes scapularis tick (AKA the black-legged tick or deer tick) carries the bacterium that causes Lyme Disease which is called Borrelia burgdorferi .

We all love reading about what is happening in the lives of our favorite celebrities. Whether it is an athlete that we admire or the talent of our favorite musician, our ears and eyes perk up when they are mentioned in the media. Most of the time the areas reported on most within the world of celebrities are trivial and only gives us a peek into their facade and doesn’t gauge them as “real” people who suffer from “real” problems. Recently, that has started to change as more and more celebrities are coming forward to speak about their ordeal with a sometimes debilitating disease called Lyme Disease.

Lyme Disease is a BIG problem caused by the bite of a tiny tick. The Ixodes scapularis tick (AKA the black-legged tick or deer tick) can carry the bacterium that causes Lyme Disease which is called Borrelia burgdorferi . Contrary to belief, ticks are not born infected with the bacterium and must feed from a host infected with the bacterium in order to become infected and before transmission is possible. The most prevalent source the tick acquires the bacteria from a rodent, such as a white footed mouse, or field mouse.

The most prevalent source the tick acquires the bacteria is a rodent, such as a white footed mouse, or field mouse.

The most prevalent source of where the tick gets the bacteria is from rodents, such as white footed mice, or field mice.

The tick then goes on to feed from a secondary host, which could quite possible be you, a member of your family, or even your pet. Ticks will attach to any part of the human body but are often found in hard-to-see areas such as the groin, armpits, and scalp. In most cases, the tick must be attached for 36-48 hours or more before the Lyme Disease bacterium can be transmitted. Most humans are infected with Lyme Disease through the bite of an immature tick called a nymph. Nymphs are tiny (about the size of a poppy-seed) and difficult to see; they feed during the spring and summer months. Adult ticks can also transmit Lyme Disease, but they are much larger and may be more likely to be discovered and removed before they have had time to transmit the bacteria. Adult Ixodes ticks are most active during the cooler months of the year, such as autumn.

Ticks do not select a host based on gender, race, age, sex, income or social status. Ticks are fiends that are non-discriminate and will feed from anyone who comes into contact with them, including celebrities.While we might not expect A-list celebrities to be traipsing through wooded, grassy areas on a regular basis, stars aren’t immune to tick bites — and many have used their fame to raise awareness for the illness. Here are a few of the famous faces that have been touched by the disease: U.S. President George W. Bush waves upon arrival at RAF Aldg

George W. Bush: In 2007, the annual report on the president’s health revealed that in August of 2006 Bush had been treated for Lyme Disease. A White House spokesman said the president likely was bitten during a bike ride. He noticed a rash that doctors treated, and he had no other symptoms or any recurrence, according to CNN.

Daryl HallDaryl Hall: Duo Hall and Oates were forced to cancel performances in 2005 when Daryl Hall was diagnosed with Lyme Disease. Alec Baldwin

Alec Baldwin :Few details are known about the actor’s Lyme Disease, but he told the New York Times that his symptoms are chronic and return annually.

color-purple-book-coverAlice Walker: award-winning poet, author and civil rights activist. Among her many contributions to the literary world, “The Color Purple” is one of her crowning achievements. The book “The Color Purple” was made into a movie and Ms. Walker struggled with Lyme disease while filming was taking place. She later documented her struggle with the disease in an essay titled ‘The Same River Twice: Honoring the Difficult’, which was written and published in 1996.

Amy TanAmy Tan Another well-known author who has suffered from late-stage Lyme disease and has become an activist in the fight to boost awareness of the disease. She is most well-known for her book “The Joy Luck Club”. Amy has her own website that chronicles her battle with Lyme disease and tells her story of how Lyme disease affected her life.

Among the list of celebrities that have been diagnosed with Lyme include actor Richard Gere, supermodel Christy Turlington, comedian Ben Stiller,  Governor of New York George E. Pataki, Tennessee Governor Phil Bredesen, and recently singer Debbie Gibson revealed her battle with the disease.

Actor, Kevin Bacon recently joined forces with the Tick-Borne Disease Alliance for this Public Service Announcement:

The Tick-Borne Disease Alliance (TBDA) works to raise awareness for tick-borne disease. They work with other groups around the nation to support initiatives looking to find cures for diseases like Lyme, Rocky Mountain Spotted Fever, Ehrlichiosis and more. One of the most important aspects of tick-borne diseases is getting a proper diagnosis. The TBDA is working on improving both the diagnostics and treatment for dangerous tick-borne diseases.

Our goal is to reduce the risk of coming into contact with a tick in the first place, because that tick could potentially be harboring a tick-borne illness such as Lyme Disease. Reducing your exposure to ticks is the best defense against Lyme Disease. We specialize in a tick prevention and control program that targets ticks during each stage of development. Our safe and effective barrier sprays eliminate adult ticks. Our barrier spray is also used in conjunction with our tick tube program that targets the nymph tick. Tick tubes can further decrease the chances of encountering a Lyme infected tick on your property.

Susan Levi, Owner Mosquito Squad of West Montgomery

Susan Levi, Owner Mosquito Squad of West Montgomery.

The problem of Lyme Disease is large, but the solution to reducing your risk of getting the disease is simple – prevention and control.

Contact Mosquito Squad of West Montgomery today to learn more•  (301) 444-5566 • email:westmontco@mosquitosquad.com

You can also follow us on Facebook and Google+

May 8, 2014

May is Lyme Disease Awareness Month; learn how one bite can change a life forever

May is Lyme Disease Awareness Month

May is Lyme Disease Awareness Month.

You may have heard about the prevalence and risks associated with Lyme Disease on the  6 o’clock news. You may have even experienced the disease first-hand by association, from a friend or family member who has contracted the disease. Or maybe you, yourself, have had, or still suffer from Lyme Disease. Whatever the case, Lyme Disease is a disease that is not to be taken lightly.

Lyme Disease is the 6th highest notable disease in North America and is on the rise. Maryland is no stranger to this dangerous tick-borne illness. Statistically, 95% of all Lyme disease cases reported have spawned from 13 US states, Maryland is among these 13 states. In order to keep yourself and your loved ones safe from the risk of coming into contact with a tick carrying the disease it is important  to exercise tick safe practices in conjunction with an effective tick control and prevention program: like the effective tick control and prevention program we offer at Mosquito Squad of West Montgomery.

One tiny tick can mean big trouble!

One tiny tick can mean big trouble!

Each year, more than 30,000 Americans contract Lyme Disease. This illness can have lifelong effects on its victims and can even cause what is referred to as Chronic Lyme Disease. Symptoms from Lyme Disease usually become apparent 3-30 days following the bite of an infected tick. In some cases the symptoms are so mild those infected hardly take notice that something is wrong. Some people may have the well-known bulls-eye rash associated with Lyme Disease. This bulls-eye rash called erythema migrans, expands in a red circle at the site where the tick was attached. Other symptoms of Lyme Disease include fever, headache, muscle or joint pain. Many of those infected will experience a fever and flu-like symptoms without a rash. Other symptoms such as joint pain, rashes on other parts of the body or inflammation of the heart or nerves can occur. If the disease is not treated, some patients may experience additional symptoms such as inflammation and excessive joint pain (Arthritis), neurological disorders and mental changes months after being infected.

The prognosis for those infected with Lyme Disease is good if the disease is detected and diagnosed early. Patients treated with appropriate antibiotics in the early stages of the disease usually recover rapidly and completely. The longer the disease goes untreated the greater the risk of suffering from acute symptoms that can persist for years. This is called Post-Treatment Lyme Disease Syndrome also referred to as Chronic Lyme Disease. Chronic Lyme Disease can continue for years, even following repeated courses of antibiotics. In these cases Lyme Disease can greatly affect your day-to-day activities and your quality of life as a whole.

It is hard to fathom that such a tiny insect can cause such a big disease, and big problems in many cases for patients whose lives have been greatly affected by the disease. Here is an excerpt from the Academy Award semifinalist, Under Our Skin, which exposes the controversy surrounding the growing and hidden epidemic that is Chronic Lyme Disease.

Our goal is to reduce the risk of coming into contact with a tick in the first place, because that tick could potentially be harboring a tick-borne illness such as Lyme Disease. Reducing your exposure to ticks is the best defense against Lyme Disease. We specialize in a tick prevention and control program that targets ticks during each stage of development. Our safe and effective barrier sprays eliminate adult ticks. Our barrier spray is also used in conjunction with our tick tube program that targets the nymph tick. Tick tubes can decrease the chances of encountering a Lyme infected tick on your property.

Susan Levi, Owner Mosquito Squad of West Montgomery

Susan Levi, Owner Mosquito Squad of West Montgomery.

The problem of Lyme Disease is large, but the solution to reducing your risk of contraction of the disease is simple – prevention and control.

Contact Mosquito Squad of West Montgomery today to learn more•  (301) 444-5566 • email:westmontco@mosquitosquad.com

You can also follow us on Facebook and Google+