An uptick in vector borne disease and what it means to you



The Very Real Dangers of Insect-Borne Diseases When You Have MS

Tiny Ticks Pack a Strong Punch

Ticks can transmit numerous illnesses. Lyme disease is the most commonly known tick-borne infection, which is caused by bacteria transmitted through the bite of an infected tick. Typically, deer ticks spread the disease in the Northeast and Midwest, while Western blacklegged tickstransmit the illness along the Northern Pacific coast. Remove ticks as soon as you notice them, because they usually require a number of hours of feeding to transmit disease.

Lyme disease often leaves a round and red expanding "bull's-eye" rash at the site of the tick bite. Flu-like symptoms are common at the start. When left untreated, neurological symptoms may develop, including tingling, fatigue, pain, weakness, and cognitive issues. When already living with a neurological illness like MS, it may be very hard to distinguish these symptoms from an MS exacerbation, but the treatment is radically different. Your physician can run tests to help determine the cause and treatment.

Mosquitoes Spread Misery Around the World

Mosquitoes are insects that bite and feed on the blood of their host. They are responsible for transmitting many diseases throughout the world. They are carriers of the West Nile virus in North America and may transmit the virus to both humans and animals. Fortunately, mosquitoes donotcarry HIV.

The vast majority of those infected with West Nile have no symptoms or very mild symptoms. Some rare cases lead to swelling of the brain or spinal cord, resulting in a host of neurological symptoms, including headaches, fatigue, and pain in the eyes. A rash or nausea also may develop. If symptoms are present, they can linger for several days, but some could last for weeks or months. Please promptly consult your physician if you suspect West Nile for the proper screening procedures and treatment.

An Ounce of Prevention Is Worth a Pound of Cure

Life with a chronic neurological illness is challenging enough and we don’t need additional health burdens. Here are a few practical tips to help you enjoy your summer:

  • Cover up.Protect as much of your body as realistically possible (you don’t want to develop heat stroke). Lightweight pants and long sleeve shirts are best, but shorts and skirts with tall socks can substitute. Wearing light colors makes it much easier to find insects on the body.
  • Avoid dusk and dawn.Mosquitoes are most active during these times. Also, tall grass and leaf piles are a favorite hiding spot for ticks.
  • Apply insect repellent. Shield skin with a layer of this protectant to reduce the likelihood of a bite. It may also help to spray your shoes and socks to help deter ticks from climbing up your legs.
  • Do a self-check.Monitor yourself by carefully examining your body, especially after spending time in high-risk areas, for signs of insects or bites. Call your physician if you are unsure of any new symptoms.
  • Enjoy yourself!Please do not panic, as most insects do not carry illnesses. So even if the prevention strategies fail and you are bitten, most people do not contract an illness.
Last Updated:7/2/2014
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Video: Stark County boy diagnosed with rare mosquito-borne disease

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Date: 13.12.2018, 21:41 / Views: 62171