Ticks + Lyme = :-(

Friday, November 10, 2017

If you live in Lunenburg County, you probably know someone that has/had Lyme Disease.  If it was treated early, it may have been inconsequential. But if it wasn't, their life may have become miserable.  And for some, the misery last for years.

Ticks and Lyme are a complicated subject ... the Reader's Digest version is:

  • ticks are everywhere and spreading northward
  • some ticks carry Lyme Disease
  • if a Lyme carrying tick attaches to you and isn't removed within 24 hours there is a chance you will get sick
  • the Best Prevention : thoroughly tick check yourself, preferably twice a day

But there is some good, local news.  The Lloyd Tick Lab at Mount Allison University in Sackville, NB is doing lots of basic research on where they are, what they are carrying and ways to deal with them.

Principal Investigator Vett Lloyd spoke with me about her work in a Q&A, an abbreviated version follows:

Dogs have a Lyme shot, where is the human one?  There was one but the side affects resulted in litigation and it was withdrawn.  A couple are in trials but years away.

What should I be wary of?  Ticks are everywhere so the most important thing is self checks.  Treatments (natural or chemical) have questionable results in all but very strong concentrations.

I find a tick on me?  Not an issue if its just out for a stroll over your skin.  Not all ticks carry Lyme.  Once they attach, it takes about 24 hours for the Lyme carriers to pass it to you. (EXCEPTION : if the Lyme carrying tick was previously on a chipmunk or cat and had started the Lyme transfer only be be removed as part of the chipmunk/cat's self cleaning and then the tick attaches to you).

Contact you when? We can help identify ticks (cell phone pics work), test to see if its a Lyme carrier and direct you to reputable sources of information.

Lyme Detection Program? A current Grad Student -- Kami Harris -- is setting up a company called Zecken Laboratories. Read more here.

Keep up with your developments?  www.canlyme.com


Many thanks to Vett for taking time out of her busy schedule to talk with me about this important -- and growing -- issue.  As a Lyme survivor, she has more than a casual interest.

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