I can’t escape them!

by Aug 7, 2012Uncategorized

I can’t escape them!

There I was, morning mug of coffee and the newspaper. Enjoy some quiet before the day started. I turned the page and there it was – another article about ticks. I shuttered and as I read the article, I was informed that I am basically doomed. My hatred of those little disease-filled creepy crawlies has been chronicled twice before (1 and 2) but this brought it to a whole new level: babesiosis. And apparently its on track to rival Lyme disease in the tick-borne illness category. *Shutters*

This is what did me in. Jane Brody writes:

It has been said that Lyme disease moves on the wings of birds, which some experts believe carry the bacteria causing the condition. Babesiosis, however, moves on the backs of mice and deer. Birds do not spread it.

But like the bacteria that cause Lyme disease, Babesia protozoans are transmitted to humans by ticks, which acquire the infection from the white-footed mouse and white-tailed deer. And, yes, the same tick — Ixodes scapularis, popularly called a deer tick — transmits both Lyme disease and babesiosis in this country.

Done. So done. I am already the girl who starts wishing for snow 1 day after the snow is gone. But now… I should look into buying stock in S.C Johnson, the maker of Off! products (I carry this in my bag, everywhere I go).

I am already paranoid about these things and I am ok with smelling like deet to the point that my clothes are damp with bug dope while I am in the woods. I have only become ok with them on me because I know it takes a tick 36-48 hours or more before the Lyme disease bacterium can be transmitted (CDC). Babesiosis is not like that and once you are bit, you could get it (CDC).

So, now that I have made you more paranoid about going into the woods, just be smart, wear the proper clothing, bathe in deet and then do tick checks when you are out of the woods. If I can handle it, you can!

80 days until I am in my Sky Condo and no bug is going to stop me!

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Erin Merrill, author of And a Strong Cup of Coffee, is president of Women of the Maine Outdoors, a senior writer for Drury Outdoors, a contributor to the Northwoods Sporting Journal and passionate all things Maine, Hunting, and the Outdoors.

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