Bay Area has ticks, and Lyme disease

by on June 15, 2012

 

A tick on the cap of a shaggy mane mushroom.

Photo by John W. Wall.

 

 

Back East, it seems everyone has a story to tell about ticks. My brother, for example, narrates with horror a time he trudged across some overgrown farm fields in Michigan early one evening, only to look down and see dozens of dark specs on his legs; he was covered in the eight-legged bloodsuckers.

Locals to the Bay Area sometimes forget about the hazards of these little predators when exploring nature. But maybe they shouldn’t. Ticks carry Lyme disease, a debilitating condition caused by a bacterial infection ticks pick up from biting deer and mice. 

“Some physicians tell their patients that Lyme disease doesn’t exist in California or is very rare,” Dr. Bob Lane said, a UC Berkeley entomologist. “Lyme disease is locally an issue in some Bay area counties, such as in Sonoma and Marin.”

Fewer tick species live on the West Coast, but there are enough of them to carry six different diseases. Lyme disease accounts for over 80 percent of tick-borne diseases in California, according to Lane. He has studied Lyme and other tick-borne diseases in California for over 35 years.  

In California, the disease occurs most commonly in the Northwest coastal counties and right here in the Bay Area, which averages five to six cases each year, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (statewide the rate of contraction is quite low: 0.3 per 100,000 persons each year).

The symptoms of Lyme disease are difficult to diagnose. They range from an expanding circular rash to flu-like illness to cognitive problems. If not caught early, the disease can be difficult to beat.

Preventing Lyme disease

As spring draws to a close, ticks will be in their peak phase of abundance as young juveniles, ending mid-summer. Juveniles at this stage are also most likely to contract Lyme disease, Lane said. With the warmer weather and start of hiking season, it’s also the time of year when people are most likely to come in contact with ticks infected with Lyme disease

The best ways to limit exposure is to wear protective clothing, use repellents, and do regular tick checks on hair and clothing. Nymphal ticks, in the second juvenile stage, are about the size of a poppy seed.

“If you don’t mind looking like a nerd, tuck pants into socks,” Lane said, although he admits to “living dangerously” and not always practicing his own advice.

Curiously, Lane said the overwhelming majority of young ticks in north-western California attach to lizards, and especially the western fence lizard. Fortunately for us, this widespread lizard contains, within its immune system, the power to kill the bacteria of Lyme disease. When a tick bites a western fence lizard and has Lyme disease, the bacteria will die and neither the tick nor lizard will carry the disease.

Lane and others who’ve studied this specialization think this is the primary reason why the infectious rate of Lyme disease is so low in California, and why so few adult ticks carry the infection.

“The lizard appears to be cleansing affected nymphal ticks, and in some sense doing humankind a service,” Lane said.

Where to beware

Contrary to popular belief, ticks do not fall from trees, and it’s not hiking that’s the problem per se. Rather, entering tick habitats is what puts you at risk for becoming tick bait. Contact with wood is the most dangerous spot to be in. 

Lane has seen the greatest amount of young ticks in oak and Douglas fir woodlands, living in leaf litter and crawling on logs. A behavioral study conducted by Lane proved that sitting on logs is the riskiest behavior when it comes to ticks during this time of year.

A transitional area from one type of habitat to another, such as the conjunction of woodland and grasslands, also holds high populations of young ticks, Lane said.

Beware especially when clearing brush along a forests edge, such as during trail maintenance projects. Hilly areas, such as the coast ranges, can host a higher abundance of ticks.

For more information on ticks and Lyme disease:

A lab in Palo Alto where you can send a tick to be tested for Lyme disease.

California Lyme Disease Association.

* Tick management handbook.

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38 comments:

Dorothy Leland on June 15th, 2012 at 12:00 am

There’s another reason that California has a supposedly “low” rate of Lyme disease. It’s because the CDC and state health officials have an unrealistically stringent standard of what is allowed to be counted as Lyme in this state. Every year, health officials discard more than 1000 positive Lyme cases, because they don’t meet the strict standard. (That more than 1000 people who are sick, had a positive Lyme test, and their doctor diagnosed them with Lyme–but their records are flushed from the system, never to be heard from again.)

Garlicbeth on June 18th, 2012 at 12:00 am

great article
 

baynature on June 18th, 2012 at 12:00 am

Hi Dorothy, 
That’s really interesting. Where did you get this info? It would be interesting to read more about it. 

Dorothy Leland on June 18th, 2012 at 12:00 am

I’m with LymeDisease.org (formerly the California Lyme Disease Association). We’ve been following the issue of under-reporting for years.  Email me at dleland@lymedisease.org if you’d like to pursue it.

KBurke on June 20th, 2012 at 12:00 am

FYI – as a joie de vivre Californian who got Lyme’s disease in the East, pay attention to the tick check.  They’re small and rat bastards, but don’t fully attach for two to hree days, so don’t be lazy and take care of yourselves. http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pu
“An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure.” – Franklin

Feraeond on June 20th, 2012 at 12:00 am

Having learned for the first time from this article about the apparent imperviousness to Lyme that western fence lizards have, I wonder whether there could possibly be discovered a way to extract that bacteria and somehow produce from it a serum which would make humans immune as well. Whether that is already being researched further or if the idea has already been concluded as altogether sci-fi at this time, reading about this for the first time was more interesting than I had hoped and definitely counts for upholding my ‘learn something new every day’ addage. Thank you for the insight. I’ll also think twice before hiking through thorny underbrush off the beaten trail wearing sandals and shredded jeans.

PEARL213 on July 5th, 2012 at 12:00 am

I had one of the first cases of Lyme Disease diagnosed in Sonoma County, in 1987; I’d picked up the tick (I think) during a camping trip in Nevada County.  Symptoms included a raised, circular red rash, fever, and painful joints; I couldn’t turn my head. I was very lucky in that my Santa Rosa doctor had just attended a seminar on Lyme Disease, and offered to start me on antibiotics right away and not wait for the blood test results.  In a few days the fever was gone and I felt much better, but it took a couple of weeks for my hands and feet to stop hurting.  Interestingly, the test came back negative, but the doctor assured me that that was common and that I had had a classic case nonetheless.  Now I feel extra fortunate, because a friend in San Francisco, although exhibiting classic symptoms, was denied antibiotics until it was too late, and now, several years later, is still unable to work.  This is a nasty disease and one that deserves to be better understood–especially by the medical profession!

Tom on October 24th, 2012 at 9:06 pm

The reason so few cases are reported in CA is that the CDC 2 tiered test of an ELISA followed by a Western Blot used antigens from the B31 strain of Bb which is not the most common strain or species in CA. That results in many if not mostly false negatives in CA. That in turn means they don’t need to be reported so it appears to not be a problem. Until they change the test approach as was done in Europe, CA will have a hidden epidemic. Since Kaiser and most insurers support the CDC test, they gel false negatives and are happy because they have no cost. People don’t find out they have Lyme until they get tested at IGeneX or at Stony Brook or have a C6 peptide.

Tom on October 24th, 2012 at 9:13 pm

Canada adopted the US CDC 2 tiered test but are now discovering they too have different strains and species with some being carried by birds from Europe or Russia. The CDC is under pressure from the IDSA doctors who carefully chose their studies to NOT discover the testing fails. They do this by only allowing people with CDC positives to enter studies. Since they never look at false negatives, they see good results from the test but the studies are all flawed. There is a new culture from ALS that will eventually show this species strain problem. The IDSA hides behind bad science but claims its the authority. Bad science eventually gets discovered but its sad so many are suffering.

Sandra on January 17th, 2013 at 10:29 am

Could someone tell why the black legged tick is the only tick that carries lyme disease, if this is known?

Alison Hawkes on January 17th, 2013 at 11:42 am

Hi Sandra,
Good question! I’m assuming it has to do with the ability of the black-legged tick to serve as a vector. I found an interesting page on the topic, but I’m afraid it doesn’t address the core question of why this particular tick species. Does anybody else know?

Melanie Adamo on February 28th, 2013 at 11:13 am

I do believe that Lyme does exist here in California and right here in San Jose. I an being treated for it and a co infection. It kicked my ass and I’m thankful to have a wonderful doc who diagnosed me and is treating me successfully. Don’t discount how misdiagnosed theses little creatures can be and get second and third opinions. Unfortunately within the medical profession there is once again controversy among the drs about this disease.

Siri J. on March 22nd, 2013 at 6:24 pm

Lyme Disease has changed my life and that of my family. I first contracted Lyme Disease in 1987 while hiking in the woods of Garin Park in Hayward.
Of course I did not know it was Lyme. I did have a Bulls eye bright red rash on the side of my knee and everyone who saw it asked : what bit you? Except for the nurse practioner at Kaiser, who treated me for poison oak since I had told her I was hiking. What followed was a year of constant illness, fevers, swollen lymph nodes, headaches, stiff necks and many visits to Kaiser hospital. I started to get a reputation as a hypochondriac.
The next year, I was barely able to function,getting very confused mentally, at one point I collapsed at work and had to be taken to Kaiser Hospital where ekg’s and other tests were taken. Then, during that same year my face was paralyzed. Kaiser treated me for bells palsy.
I was getting desperate. I had 2 businesses to run and I could no longer concentrate to even do my payroll.
Sometime after the second year, my daughter had been camping and attended a Ranger’s briefing where the subject was Lyme disease. She called me still from camp and told me : Mom, everything you have been ill with were described as signs of Lyme disease.
This was when I started my education about Lyme disease and approached my doctor at Kaiser with what I had learned. His first reaction would be repeated by many more doctors within Kaiser and also private doctors including specialists for infectious diseases.He did not believe Lyme existed on the West Coast. He did however order a lyme blood test which came back negative. One more try contacting the Health Department which led to nowhere.
I was giving up. Every now and then a doctor would prescribe an anti biotic for a week for some other health issues like a sore throat and I would start feeling better for a while.

Then the impossible happened. I ran into a woman who used to live in the neighborhood and had moved to Florida and she told me she comes back to the Bay Area every 6 months to see a doctor in San Francisco for this terrible illness she has and could not find another Doctor to treat her for. Somehow I knew she was talking about Lyme Disease. I had finally found a doctor , who said a clinical diagnosis based on all the symptoms should have been made a long time ago. They did a blood test right there in their lab which also came back negative, but he was not surprised. He also send a blood sample to a special lab in Palo Alto and it came back positive.
And so my treatment began with large Doses of Antibiotics for an extended time. When I started to feel better after a few months I asked my Doctor, a Rheumatologist, how much longer I would have to be on the medication, it was a financial concern since I had to pay all my doctor bills and medications plus lab work out of pocket. Kaiser would not pay for any of it. He told me he did not know, that some of his patients had gone off their medication and had severe re-lapses.
He also told me that he was in the last stages of colon cancer and for me to remember that not enough was known about Lyme, and if I were to get off the medication and start feeling sick again that I did have this disease.
In time my doctor did pass away, I did stop the medication and I forgot! Not what had happened, but to be on the lookout for the illness to come back. For a while all was well.
Then the worst 2 years of my life happened. My cognitive problems got worse. I could no longer pay my bills. Numbers were very confusing to me. I lost track of days and dates. I would get lost driving or come home with dents in my car and not remember why. So I became a shut in. I would want to take a quick shower and come out of the bath 2 hours later. I had encephalitis. I was again making the rounds for a doctor and could not find one who was knowledgeable about Lyme disease. Especially chronic Lyme disease. If you do find a doctor at all, at the most they will concede to Lyme disease with a cure of 30 days antibiotics. Even if treatment had been delayed for years. Some of my family got angry with me. They just did not understand how I could change that much. I lost my businesses, needless to say.
But it’s not over yet, 4 years ago, without any injury or discernible cause other than pain in my shoulders, an ER doctor diagnosed a paralyzed phrenic nerve, which in turn paralyzes half of my diaphragm and affects my breathing.
At a loss my doctor, who in the beginning had asked where at the East Coast I had lived to contact Lyme Disease, was willing to read not only my history, but all the Lyme literature I could find on line and which I would bring to him.
He then treated me with long term antibiotics and again I felt well for a long time.

Present day- Beeing a Senior Citizen and having pre- existing conditions, I am once again insured through Kaiser. My latest diagnoses is for RA , Rheumatoid Arthritis, an autoimmune disease, yet my Rheumo at Kaiser insists it has absolutely nothing to do with Lyme disease.

Why am I posting this long saga ?

A friend of my daughter, a young mother with a sweet little 4 year old girl, is asking for help.

Her daughter was bitten by what she believes is a tick. The little girl had the bulls eye rash.
But like so many people still, mom did not know anything about Lyme.
Then her Baby ended up in emergency with 105 F fever. They suspected Lyme disease. ( at least that much ) and treated her with a short treatment of antibiotics. ( I think 1 week )
The Lyme test came back negative. I don’t know which lab.

But now the little girl is back in Emergency again , once again with a very high fever. The help she needs is , information ….. any information as to a pediatric Lyme specialist, or any internist or Rheumatologist. Any information about which labs have experience in Lyme tests. I have forgotten some of the information I used to have , yes I gave up, I’m no longer up to date in research, besides …. there may be new doctors out there….
So please …. if you have information , please post here , I can not imagine a little girl having to go thru some of what I have described above.

Thank you.

Dan Rademacher on March 25th, 2013 at 9:35 am

So sorry to hear of you struggles, Siri, and those of your young friend. We’re a general nature website, so we don’t have a lot of background on Lyme disease, to say the least. There’s is a California Lyme disease group with a lot of resources. You could try contacting them here: http://lymedisease.org/contact.html. They also have lots of resources on their website, including downloadable PDF reports and other documents. Good luck in your quest for more information.

David on April 27th, 2013 at 11:24 pm

Just curious is anyone knows which color ticks are most and least attracted to? I know that wearing a white and light beige pants ad other clothing will allow to see ticks better. But I think it is also the light colors that attract ticks the most. Anyone knows?

Susan on May 5th, 2013 at 7:01 pm

Siri, I feel your grief – both for yourself and for your friend’s little girl. My husband and I unknowingly have had Lyme and multiple co-infections for at least eight years. Confused and trying to rule things out, my doctor ordered a Lyme test. To her surprise I tested positive and was given the typical 30-day dose of Doxycycline. Like you and so many others, I dug and dug for more information and resources (lymedisease.org is great) as my symptoms worsened. I finally found an incredible and compassionate doctor at Hill Park Medical Center in Petaluma. Nine months, six different antibiotics, various pain meds, and a whole slew of support supplements later, I’m finally starting to feel like a whole person again (my doctor said it would take about a year to recover). Further, after numerous negative test results for Lyme, my husband is also finally getting the treatment he has needed for so long.

The downside…treatment is expensive (and long). Treatment for Lyme Disease (and co-infections…you never seem to just have Lyme) really needs be under the care of a specialist because these infections put the body under such duress that nearly every system in the body is affected. This also means any pre-existing conditions or imbalances are worsened, and even any previously unknown genetic mutations (particularly ones connected to the immune system) come into play. Uncovering individual issues related to (and unrelated to) Lyme and co-infections takes time to unravel, and it can often mean thinking outside of the box so having a supportive, knowledgeable doctor makes a world of difference.

With regards to your friend’s dilemma with her daughter, a good Naturapathic Physician (some are also MDs) are usually more willing and able to order a panel of tests to check on things like White Blood Cell count, liver enzymes, hormone levels, signs of deficiencies, common immune-related genetic mutations, possible mercury/lead poisoning, etc.,.. This can at least give the mom a sense of some of what’s going on so she can begin a support treatment. A huge part of recovery from Lyme and co-infections is nutrition and supplementation – getting enough of what your own individual body needs to have the strength and balance to fight these infections. These tests also will indicate if it does look like a chronic infection is taking place, and if those indicators are present, keep getting tested for Lyme and co-infections. My husband finally had to have a culture done after receiving many negative Western Blot tests – it’s expensive but it finally validated that Lyme was present. Additionally I would say, have your friend look into homeopathy and possible diet amendments (ex: juicing is incredible, and going gluten-free/dairy-free is commonly helpful for those who have Lyme). Finally note that Doxycycline can cause permanent yellowing or graying of the teeth in children younger than 8 years old so if your friend’s daughter does have Lyme, alternative antibiotics will have to be explored.

All the best to you, please know you’re not alone. My hope everyday is for greater Lyme awareness and funding for better testing/research. This is such a crippling disease made more difficult by a medical community at large that is poorly informed on how to approach, diagnose and treat this disease.

Susan on May 5th, 2013 at 7:10 pm

David, to my knowledge ticks that carry Lyme Disease actually don’t have eyes, so they don’t care what color clothing you wear. It’s good to wear light-colored clothing so you can easily see a tick before it bites you. Deer ticks that carry Lyme are about the size of a sesame seed with black legs.

Dan Rademacher on May 6th, 2013 at 8:14 am

Thanks for the helpful comments, Susan!

tim cannon on May 20th, 2013 at 11:36 am

I am a little concerned here in Berkeley Albany since a family of deer live next door in the backyard and sometimes come into my yard. Could they harbor the lyme tick and expose us? and if so, what are the best ways to avoid exposure? I garden near where they sometimes sleep. Thanks.

Susan on May 27th, 2013 at 8:02 pm

Tim, it’s likely the deer carry ticks. Not all the ticks may carry Lyme Disease, but the ticks also carry other nasty pathogens that can turn into problematic infections. Some tick-borne infections prominent in Northern California are Anaplasmosis, 364D Rickettsiosis, Tickborne relapsing fever (TBRF), Babesiosis and Bartonella.

For this reason it’s probably a good idea to try and keep the deer out of your yard. Keep grasses trimmed and avoid walking through tall grasses. Wear light-colored clothing when you garden and boots if possible. Shower after doing yard work. Finally, familiarize yourself with early symptoms of Lyme Disease/tick-borne co-infections.

Judy on June 23rd, 2013 at 1:30 am

I’ve been hiking for years and years in the Bay Area (and elsewhere). I have hiked through wooded areas, and tall grasses. I have hiked with other people who found ticks on them. I have NEVER found a tick on me. I wonder why. Mosquitos are attracted to CO2 and people who release more CO2 tend to get bitten more. Plus there are some genetics involved. Mosquitos LOVE me. I just read (don’t know if it’s true) that ticks are triggered by heat, CO2 and movement. If that’s the case, then I should be a prime target for ticks. Yet I have never found a tick on me. Maybe it has just been random luck.

Dan Rademacher on June 24th, 2013 at 8:06 am

Hope you have many more years of tick-free hiking!

Lee Ann on June 25th, 2013 at 8:21 am

I was biking on a trail and passed through a flying (or jumping?) cloud of tiny insects and ended up with a bite on the inside of my ear. Could this have been a tick? Do they end up in the air, in groups, or can I rule ticks out? I now have intermittent searing ear/headaches just on that side so I clearly need to find a doctor.

Dan Rademacher on June 25th, 2013 at 10:48 am

Sounds bad! But it was almost certainly not a tick. They don’t fly or jump in swarming clouds.

john cooper on July 9th, 2013 at 5:47 pm

I run in the hills of Lafayette every day, especially in the heat of the day. Seems like every spring and summer I get these little flat black bugs always on the upper body. They resemble tick nymphs but I am not brushing up against anything while I run. They are only 2mm long and have articulating front legs – almost spider-like. They also really dig in, are hard to remove and are very sturdy. I am considering a test for Lyme. Any clues?

Dan Rademacher on July 9th, 2013 at 5:58 pm

Any chance you could get a photo of one? We could send it on to one of our entomologist friends!

HKMiserocchi on July 15th, 2013 at 7:55 am

If you want some sound, intelligent reporting of the travails that Lyme can deliver, go online and buy Nature’s Dirty Needle: What You Need to Know About Chronic Lyme Disease and How to Get the Help to Feel Better by Sonoma County’s Mara Williams, RN, MSN, ANP-BC. And go on line to learn about her project in Sonoma County, currently raising funds for a Lyme disease treatment center called Inanna House: http://www.naturesdirtyneedle.com or http://www.inannahouse.org. She spoke here on the East End of Long Island last week and deserves our attention.

Vacation in Yosemite on August 1st, 2013 at 7:58 am

Hello, I desire to subscribe for this weblog to get most recent updates, so where can i
do it please help.

Alison Hawkes on August 1st, 2013 at 9:20 am

You can RSS our news feed or follow up on Twitter or Facebook, where we post most new stories.

Phil Young on August 19th, 2013 at 4:01 pm

2011 National Science Foundation study (see below) found just the opposite that is 2012 story reported. The more lizards in an area actually increases the potential for humans getting lyme disease.

http://www.livescience.com/12884-fence-lizards-lyme-disease-ticks.html

In the Western United States, lizards that host ticks are immune to Lyme disease, prompting scientists to anticipate that if the lizards were removed, the disease would flourish.

Not so, a study in California has found.

Instead, after the lizards were relocated from study sites, the researchers, led by Andrea Swei, who conducted the study while a doctoral student at University of California, Berkeley, found that the density of young ticks decreased, which decreased the disease risk to humans.

Alison Hawkes on August 20th, 2013 at 10:08 am

How interesting! I’d love to hear more about how the researchers interpret their results. Why would the removal of lizards decrease the number to ticks?

Fiona Henderson on August 21st, 2013 at 10:55 am

Hi,

This is a response mainly to Sandra. I recommend you read a book called Lab 257, (amazon has it), which explains how ticks first became infected with Lyme disease and the usual menu of confections.

The theory is that post WWII, the US and Russia competed to attract Nazi bio warfare researchers to their respective countries in exchange for immunity from prosecution. Basically they were given the opportunity to dodge the Nuremberg trials and continue their research. The Americans were terrified that the Soviets would end up with all the research and use it against them and vice versa.

A Nazi called Eric Traub who reported directly to Himmler (head of the gestapo and SS and reporting directly to Hitler) was put in charge of Plum Island just off the coast of Connecticut where his specialization – the development of bacterial warfare methods – was very successfully furthered. It is no coincidence that the first outbreak of Lyme disease happened in Old Lyme, just a few miles from Plum Island. Security on that island was at times really below par and the ticks which were originally designed to make livestock sick, thus destroying the food chain of the enemy, infected humans instead.

That is why we now have millions of ticks acting as disease vectors for humans.

Anybody who has suffered or who suffers from this disease has to wonder why it is so “clever” at avoiding antibiotics by morphing into different forms. Almost like somebody had designed it to be indestructible.

There is a YouTube documentary by Jesse Ventura which in spite of being, well, very Jesse Dramatic Ventura, has a lot of accurate information about the disease and its origins.

This is another reason why the government does not want to acknowledge the disease – they would also then have to acknowledge their part in creating the epidemic.

It is a conspiracy theory so something I take with a grain of salt but the more I read about it- the more it makes sense. As I lie in bed, my legs aching, my energy levels in the toilet and a ridiculous number of pill bottles swamping my nightstand the idea that this could be a human created epidemic makes me angrier and more upset than I can say.

I had everything going for me and this has taken my life away.

Blessings to all.

Fiona

Stephanie on November 17th, 2013 at 5:25 pm

Dorothy is spot on. http://truth-out.org/opinion/item/20053-lyme-disease-community-blows-the-whistle-on-corruption-within-the-cdc
I believe the most knowledgable doctors (before treating or diagnosing someone) they request the patient be tested for Lyme disease first. Just to rule it out. It’s too bad not many doctors do this.

cary mcdonald on January 21st, 2014 at 4:38 pm

I was bitten by a Lyme infected tick 4 years ago that was brought to home by my dog; the dog had been out with neighbors running (in the brush) in Pt. Richmond at Miller Knox Park . It was finally correctly diagnosed a year ago (after having been written-off with Alzheimer like dementia, Severe (knee, spine) atrhritis, and Colitis.One year of oral antibiotics (doxy) with 13 weeks of I.V. antibiotics, and I’m better, but far from ‘cured.’ It’s the evasive nature of the beast, and the poor functioning of our medical system as a result of our insurance system. The bottom line: the CDC is not your friend; they are a private organization that is self serving. Also, because of a historic ‘hit’ in the North East, in which everyone with Alzhimers’ went after I.V. therapy, there are (almost) absurd hurdles to clear to get ‘insurance covered’ treatment. There is also a huge market of ‘snake oil’ sales, which may improve symptoms, but only well timed and proper antibiotics offer a cure.
It is not within the various Park Department’s responsibilities to keep their areas checked or clear of pathogen carrying vectors; that falls to the various Counties Vector Control departments. When you talk to them, they will tell you they have almost zero funding; -they can barely keep with the monitoring of rats.

My observations also have led to the follow conclusion: areas of Northern California and North Texas will be markedly on the rise when it comes to Lyme Disease. And worse, the doctors on the left coast are severely under trained in this ailment. Any doctors that haven’t interned in the North East are virtually uneducated regarding the issues, and you and I know that the CDC, and the press are zero help. It is not ‘first bite’ issues you need to be aware of; those guidelines may only help 1/3 of the ‘bitten.’ It is all ‘Late Stage’ symptoms you should be aware of. (Are you?!)
Why the predicted increase? We already have relatively more deer tick species than any other area, and, with mild winters (ice on the bird bath disappeared 25 years ago) the beasts are able to survive and reproduce in abundance; I’m seeing a marked increase in tick populations. Add to that, just in the past 10 years we have become inundated by introduced ‘wild’ turkeys. I’m told introduced Turkey’s are over populating northern Texas as well. These guys provide a fantastic ‘taxi’ service for ticks, such that ‘deer’ are really not part of the equation.
Bottom line: expect Northern California, and Texas to be hard hit, medically unprepared and incompetent, and the ‘homeless’ will be the first in the state supported institutions for combined dementia and arthritic symptoms.
Lastly: Be aware that your immune system gets in gear when you are initially bitten; The symptoms (described as flu-like) translates to night time fever and chills that disappear during the day. Menopause like symptoms also fit. But these spirochette organisms have cillia which they easily shed, and your immune system is left attacking non-critical ‘left-overs’. They proceed to burrow where there is a markedly less immune system exposure: all your synovial joints, ligaments and brain. After about 18 months of infection, your immune system gives up; no longer are significant antibodies in active pursuit. That is why Late Stage sufferers will fail the CDC required ’3-blips’ on a Western Blot test.
BUT, if a ‘long time’ infected patient is first treated to a week of antibiotics (of any type), the treatment will break-loose (kill) enough spirrochettes to re-activate the immune system. Then, three weeks after the treatment, the Western Blot Test will pick-up the proper response. (In this politically correct environment, doctors will not tell you that sometimes, antibiotics should be used as a diagnostic tool; and most Kalifornia doctors don’t even know it!)

Jeri Jacobson on March 14th, 2014 at 9:12 am

If you find a tick on your body, it’s important to have it analyzed. If you live in Marin, our county lab no longer does this; several counties, Marin, Solano, Napa, and Yolo, use the lab in Fairfield (707) 784-4410. Don’t expect immediate results. I sent a tick on March 5, and they’re just getting to it today, March 14.

ayesha on April 21st, 2014 at 1:25 am

To siri we just found out my daughter has Lymes and I think my son got a false negative. We were sent to Dr. green in San Francisco, she’s an MD but a naturopath who’s specially lyme literate. We had our first appointment 2 weeks back so well see what happens but apparently she is THE doc to see if you suspect Lymes. She trains other medical professionals around the country about this specifically. Good luck to you friends child.

michael on May 24th, 2014 at 9:40 pm

Hi Please make sure tests are done for other Borrelia diseases. I was infected with Hermsii and was no where near elevation /mts . There is no dress rehearsal in life to experiment with. Safe side of valor GET ALL POSSIBILITIES CHECKED. GO TO SPECIALIST(important} Loads of doctors don’t understand what they are seeing (too rare). I live by coastal mountains in Monterey Ca.
Not exactly the “expected” locale for bite but there is no other possible place to have been bitten. Too easy to figure out the date{ within a few days} that i was bit leads to conclusion that the rodent /deer carriers are expanding the typical ranges of disease. There are soft ticks near sea level liking cold moist wood and squirrels /deer that are abundant here in the Pebble Beach forest. I worked and stayed around town throughout the potential bite timeline. I work at Pebble Beach resort as a caddie and spend moments in bushes etc on course AND THATS WHERE I WAS BIT THOUGH THE COMPANY DENIES THE POSSIBILITY. What a joke …good thing my body accepted oral antibiotics and I saw a specialist early for detection. THe sad thing is the next bite may be a guest who has a weak immune system and it could take the worst turn. THe Pebble Beach Co will be the last ones in Ca to want any press about ticks and the diseases here in Monterey County to become part of the preparation to outdoor outings here. There isnt even a sign for the employees though there have been many documentations of ticks found on outdoor workers for years. Heck there is a beach named Garrapata a 10 miles dwn the hwy 1 coast. Garrapata means tick in spanish. To me its negligence towards employee care. The greed for revenue outweighing public safety isnt new just irresponsibly evil. Come play golf in Monterey ..go home to a doctor that has never seen LYME or HERMSII and good luck getting a proper timely diagnosis, more like WOW are you spinning a bad fortune wheel!! I’m sure it’s already happened or it’s bound to be a future news flash if they care to pass on the data. The only ones who care are the state run crew, for stats. And they even tweak the numbers under the rug. Take that little girls tests to Dr. David Wright in Monterey. He is sought after from far and wide and He takes a posture of no screwing around. He is a reasonable Doc with great rates and results . He is also a trailblazer in treatments of tick borne diseases. A clear vision in a cloudy area of medecine is what I’m talkn about. Michael McC 831 277 2155 call anytime to chat!!

Julie on June 11th, 2014 at 9:07 pm

The Western Fence Lizard study recently completed, has not had a follow up yet as far as I know. Lizards are normally the nymphal ticks’ favored host. In the initial study, their second favorite host, the female Wood Rat, was found to carry an average of five more ticks than previously. I can see the highly likely scenario where these adaptable creatures simply make use of the blood they can get and flourish. They only need to feed once in their nymphal stage. Then twice more as adults. If that were to be the case they would no longer be inoculated by the lizards and our infection rate would be 100 times higher as it is on the East Coast. This is the part in the movie where scientists race to isolate the protein that cures the disease, now, isn’t it?

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