Another reason to look for Ticks on our Pet's.

Discussion in 'Fibromyalgia Main Forum' started by Bruin63, Aug 10, 2005.

  1. Bruin63

    Bruin63 Member


    Dog Tick Found to Spread Spotted Fever By MARILYNN MARCHIONE, AP Medical Writer
    Wed Aug 10,10:11 PM ET



    Scientists have discovered that a very common type of dog tick can spread Rocky Mountain spotted fever, a serious and often-fatal illness that reached historic highs in the United States last year.

    Two types of ticks already were known to transmit the disease, but they're not as common and are carried mostly by rodents and dogs that live near wild or rural areas. This is the first time that a tick that routinely plagues house pets has been implicated.

    The discovery was made through an investigation of Arizona's first outbreak, involving 16 cases and two deaths in the last few years.

    Health officials don't want people to panic or think this will become a nationwide epidemic, because they've only found these infected ticks in Arizona. But the newly implicated tick lives everywhere in the world, and experts have been stumped by many unexplained cases of the disease around the United States.

    "We may have been missing this in the past," said Linda Demma, who led the study for the federal Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

    "It's almost certainly occurring in other places and not diagnosed," agreed Dr. J. Stephen Dumler, an expert on the disease at Johns Hopkins University. He wrote an editorial accompanying a report of the CDC study in Thursday's New England Journal of Medicine.

    Rocky Mountain spotted fever was first recognized a century ago in Idaho but has spread through much of the United States. More than half of cases are reported from the south-Atlantic states — Delaware, Maryland, Washington D.C., Virginia, West Virginia, North Carolina, South Carolina, Georgia, and Florida. Oklahoma and North Carolina have reported the most.

    The disease is caused by bacteria that infect ticks, which then bite and infect animals and people.

    Symptoms occur 5 to 10 days later and can include fever, nausea, vomiting, muscle pain, lack of appetite and severe headache — signs often mistakenly attributed to common viral ailments. Late symptoms include a spotted rash, abdominal pain, joint pain and diarrhea.

    Antibiotics, particularly doxycycline, are effective when given early. But fatality rates as high as 20 percent have been reported when cases are not recognized, and the disease is especially severe in children.

    From a low point of 365 cases in 1998, cases have risen to 1,514 last year, but officials think that far more have gone unreported.

    The CDC and Indian Health Service officials from Arizona and New Mexico investigated a cluster of cases in rural eastern Arizona from 2002 through 2004.

    Blood and tissue samples confirmed that 11 people had the disease; 5 more were called probable cases. Most were under 12, and two died.

    Researchers found infected common brown dog ticks in all of the victims' yards. Ticks turned up in the cracks of stucco walls inside homes, in crawl spaces underneath them and on furniture that children played on outside.

    The investigators have since found another 3 people they believe had the disease in 2001 from the same area of Arizona.

    Until now, the only ticks known to spread Rocky Mountain spotted fever were the less common American dog tick and the Rocky Mountain wood tick.

    "No longer can we consider Rocky Mountain spotted fever a disease of only rural and southern venues; it has emerged and re-emerged again," Dumler wrote.

    "The disease is in the midst of its third emergence since 1920, after peaks from 1939 to 1949 and again from 1974 to 1984," according to Dumler, who has compiled numbers from published accounts and cases reported to CDC.

    Officials recommend these steps to avoid ticks:

    _Wear light-colored clothes so ticks are more visible.

    _Tuck pants legs into your socks.

    _Use insect repellents on skin, clothes and boots.

    _Use a mirror to carefully check for ticks after being in tick-infested areas. Parents should check children's hair for ticks.

    _Use tweezers to remove ticks and protect your fingers with a tissue or gloves. Grasp the tick as close to the skin as possible and pull up with steady, even pressure, without twisting or jerking the tick. Apply a disinfectant to the skin and wash your hands.

    _Save the tick so it can be identified if you later become ill. Seal it in a plastic bag and put it in your freezer, and note the date.

    ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

    We already know that Lyme Disease is caused by Ticks, now we have another Disease, to watch out for.
  2. Bruin63

    Bruin63 Member


    Common or Dog Tick - This tick is not thought to carry lyme disease. However, since dogs regularly contract the disease, this information may prove to be false.
    Deer Tick aka Black Leg Tick - This is the carrier of lymes. The disease resides in mice, rats, deer and marine birds and can be carried to humans from the bite of this tick.



    How Lyme Disease is Transmitted
    Lyme disease is a bacterial infection which is transmitted primarily through the bite of ticks which have become infected with the disease from other mammals or marine birds. The tick usually Responsible is the Black Leg Tick (also known as the Deer Tick). However, as time goes on it is becoming more and more obvious that there must be other vectors of transmission besides ticks. The organism responsible for lyme has been found in breast milk, blood, semen and even in well water. But just how easily it is transmitted from person-to-person is not yet known. At this time it is not thought to be transmitted by the common dog tick, although the fact that dogs regularly get the disease is an indication that this may prove to be a false assumption. There is also evidence evolving that transmission from person to person through the bites of mosquitos, fleas and other biting insects may also occur. Not all deer ticks are infected with the bacteria that cause the disease, and not every tick bite is cause for routine treatment. Ticks will become infected only if they feed on another animal that is infected. The disease can be spread to the human when a tick infected with the bacteria bites a person and stays attached for a period of time. In most cases, the tick must be attached for 48 hours or more before the bacteria can be transmitted. The rate at which the number of Lymes cases is growing tells researchers that there must be other paths of infection than just the deer tick. The following graph from a county in New Jersy illustrates this.



    It is certain that the deer population in New Jersey did not grow at this rate over this period of time!





    Lyme Disease is a serious and growing health problem in the United States.

    Lyme Disease is a bacterial infection caused by a spirochete form of bacteria known as Borrelia burgdorferi. This bacteria is very similar to the bacterium which causes the disease syphilis. The disease resembles syphilis both in its etiology (caused by a spirochete) and its pathology (progresses through three stages with similar symptoms and outcome as syphilis). The bacteria is termed a "spirochete" due to it's spiral or spring-like shape. This is a highly motile bacteria which travels through the tissues and organs by contracting lengthwise and then springing forward. You can easily see how this could be so by looking at the shape of the bacteria in this picture:





    Borrelia burgdorferi

    The bacteria causes physical damage by this burrowing motion, as well as biochemical changes to the tissues, before lodging in various organs and joints where it can cause a number of different symptoms. The most common are Arthritis-like symptoms and nerve degeneration when the bacteria lodges in the spinal cord or brain (termed CNS Lyme Disease). It are these nervous system complications which are the most serious and the most difficult to treat. Migraines, dizziness, loss of coordination, numbness and tingling of the hands and feet and blindness are some of the results of CNS involvment with Lyme disease. (eventually leading to death - an outcome not generaly mentioned) Once the bacteria invades the nervous system it becomes much harder to treat. This is because the body has a protective blood-brain barrier which few antibiotics can cross, so the body must rely upon its own immune system to address these CNS sites of infection. The brain and spinal cord actually become reservoirs of the disease. These human nerve cells are not killed by the antibiotics, so these cells can actually act to protect the Lyme organism from the medicines used in therapy. In essence, they 'hide' within the cells, isolated from the antibiotics used. From there they can re-infect the body after the antibiotic treatment is over. This is because the nervous system cells, like all cells in the body, have a certain lifespan after which they die and are replaced with new cells. Once the cell dies and dissolves back into the body, any bacteria which was residing within that cell is released back into the blood stream, beginning the infection cycle all over again. Some nervous system cells have a life span of up to a year or more. That means that as much as a year after a treatment with antibiotics, the patient can re-infect themselves through normal shedding and replacement of old cells. It is VERY IMPORTANT to get early antibiotic treatment with this disease, before the organism has time to become established within the cells. Once the disease becomes well established, it may be impossible to ever become the same person you were. Even after the disease organism is gone from the body, the damages remain.


    SERIOUS COMPLICATION CAN ARISE IF LYME DISEASE IS LEFT UNTREATED




    LYME DISEASE TREATMENT OPTIONS.

    The most common treatment for Lyme disease is with antibiotics such as Keflex, doxycycline or amoxicillin. This is to kill off the organism that is causing the disease. Also symptomatic treatment may be given to address the symptoms involved. These can be pain killers, energy enhancers and other types of medications. Another issue altogether is the symptom called Lyme Arthritis. People who have a particular genetic makeup, specifically people who have an HLA molecule which matches the OspA outer surface protein are prone to an autoimmune arthritis (molecular mimicry) which does not remit after antibiotic treatment (Science 281: 703, 1998). This is a serious complication with Lymes, since even though the disease may be cured, with no more bacteria present in the body, the patient is still left with a serious and unremitting arthritis. This is one of the reasons that early treatment is so important to deal with the disease before the damage occurs. It is important to see a doctor if you think you may have Lyme disease. Lyme is a very serious condition and should not be self diagnosed or self medicated. While there are many dietary supplements available to assist in enhancing immune function or balancing different vitamin and mineral requirments, these should not be relied upon alone as treatment for Lyme. It is imperative that you see a doctor and follow his or her instructions.





    LYME DISEASE SYMPTOMS

    In many cases, one will become ill and be diagnosed with Lyme Disease and have no recollection of any tick bite or other earlier symptoms. This may be because the patient simply overlooked the event, but more likely indicates there are mechanism of Lyme transmission and infection which are not yet known. When early symptoms do occur, they are usually noted about 7-10 days after the person finds a tick attached to their skin. The most common symptom is a bull’s-eye rash around the site of the tick bite showing the early spreading infection. If this occurs, GET MEDICAL ATTENTION AS SOON AS POSSIBLE!
    The bull’s-eye Rash: In 60%-80% of the cases, a large, reddish rash about 2 inches in diameter appears and expands around or near the site of the bite. Sometimes, multiple rash sites appear. The early stage of Lyme disease is usually marked by one or more of the following symptoms and signs: chills and fever, headache, fatigue, stiff neck, muscle and/or joint pain, and swollen lymph nodes. If left untreated, complications from later stages of Lyme disease, such as arthritis, meningitis, facial palsy or heart abnormalities, may occur within a few weeks to months, or may only become evident many years later. These later symptoms often develop in people who did not have early symptoms or perhaps they did but did not recognize them. Swelling and pain in the large joints may recur periodically over many years. Here is a typical picture of this ring-like rash which commonly occurs around the tick bite:





    "The longer the tick stays attached, the more likely you are to get sick. If I found an engorged tick on me, I'd simply treat myself for Lyme disease" (this quote is taken directly from the medical journal - Journal of Infectious Diseases 175: 996, 1997)






    WHERE DOES LYME DISEASE OCCUR?

    The infection is most common in the Northeastern United States, with about 40% of the cases in New York state. It is also fairly common in Minnesota and Wisconson. The rest of the country sees only scattered cases, other than a few "hot spots" like Humboldt county in Northern California. There are many good sites on Lyme disease where you can get lots of detailed information about your particular location. We have linked to these other sites down at the bottom of this page.




    HOW DO YOU PROTECT YOURSELF FROM LYME DISEASE?
    Avoid being bitten by ticks. When in tick-infested habitat special precautions to prevent tick bites should be taken, such as wearing light-colored clothing (for easy tick discovery) and tucking pants into socks and shirt into pants. Consider the use of DEET-based insect repellents. Check after every two to three hours of outdoor activity for ticks on clothing or skin. Brush off any ticks on clothing before skin attachment occurs. A thorough check of body surfaces for attached ticks should be done at the end of the day. If removal of attached ticks occurs within 36 hours, the risk of tickborne infection is minimal. Here are some graphical guidelines for tick bite prevention:




    HOW TO SAFELY REMOVE LYME TICKS
    Grasp the mouthparts with tweezers as close as possible to the attachment (skin) site. Be careful not to squeeze, crush or puncture the body of the tick, which may contain infectious fluids. After removing the tick, thoroughly disinfect the bite site and wash hands. See or call a doctor if there are concerns about incomplete tick removal. Do not attempt to remove ticks by using petroleum jelly, lit cigarettes or other home remedies because these may actually increase the chance of contracting a tick-borne disease.


    LYME VACCINES
    A Lyme disease vaccine, currently approved by the Food and Drug Administration for use in persons between 15 and 70 years old, is available. Since it is not 100% effective in preventing Lyme disease and offers no protection against other tickborne diseases, it is important to continue other prevention measures. Contact your health care provider for additional information about the vaccine.


    ~HOWEVER~

    Even though this vaccine is approved by the FDA, serious concerns have arisen over the safety of this vaccine and calls for removal of this vaccine from the market have been made. The high incidence of side effects with this vaccine, often severe side effects, are indeed cause for concern. You should discuss with your health care provider whether your risk of exposure to Lyme is greater than the risk of serious side effects you may have from the vaccine. If you live in an area where there are no cases of Lyme disease, than why risk it? If you work outdoors a lot, or live in an area of high Lyme incedence, than perhaps the risk is worth it. This is a decision that needs to be made between you and your doctor. If you have a doctor that tells you the Lyme vaccine is totally safe, then find a new doctor! There will be newer, safer and more effective vaccines on the market in the next couple of years, but at present (July 2005) be carefull of your options. (This author chooses NOT to get a vaccine, even though living in a high risk area!)

    ALTERNATIVE THERAPY AND ADDITIONAL CONSIDERATIONS IN TREATING LYME DISEASE

    Antibiotics are the treatment option of choice. For CNS Lyme, that is Lyme which has infiltrated the brain or spinal colume, antibiotics may be of limited usefullness. Most certainly antibiotics should be used. Don't skip that part of the treatment! but there is another course of therapy which we feel is useful, and should be followed at the same time. This is concurrent Immune System Enhancement to increase the effectivness of the antibiotic. There are a number of drugs and supplements which act to enhance the immune system. This is very important in a disease like Lyme which may have crossed the blood/brain barrier and which may be building resistance to the more common antibiotics. Also the long term effects of Lyme disease are so serious that it is imperative that the disease be addressed completely the first time around.

    IMMUNE SYSTEM SUPPLEMENTATION CONCURRENT WITH ANTIBIOTIC TREATMENT
    The immune system is the mechanism whereby we avoid contracting a disease, and by which we get well once we do get sick. All antibiotics are merely adjuncts to the body's own immune system. Without this vital system, the human body can not survive. Note the end result of AIDS. No matter how much antibiotic is given, without proper functioning of the immune system, RECOVERY CAN NOT OCCUR. In Lyme disease, this concurrent Immune System supplementation Therapy is thought to be especially important, as the Lyme bacteria acts to directly depress the immune system in much the same way that syphlis or AIDS does. The activation and enhancement of the bodys' immune function is probably more important while undergoing treatment for Lyme than with most other diseases.

    IMMUNOMODULATORS AS A CONCURRENT SUPPLEMENTATION THERAPY FOR LYME DISEASE
    In many countries where Lyme disease occurs there are available prescription drugs which act in conjunction with antibiotics to increase the curative potential of the antibiotic therapy. These drugs are generally polysaccharide based immuno-modulators such as Lentinan, Sonifolan or Polyactin A. While these drugs are not currently used in the United States, There are a number of over-the-counter dietary supplement which may have the same effect. Aloha Medicinals Inc, a Hawaii based nutraceutical manufacturer, has done several years research on the use of immuno-modulators as dietary supplements for concommitant use in difficult to treat diseases such as Lyme. This was an unexpected offshoot from the tracking of results from the use of their original product IMMUNE-ASSIST, a condition specific dietary supplement intended for use by cancer patients while undergoing conventional treatment. While intended originally as a dietary supplement and possible cancer treatment enhancer, the mode of action is strictly immuno-modulatory. This led to the development of their second generation of Immunomodulatory supplements. In particular the product RIDOXOLAN PLUS, has shown great effectivness for enhancing immune function while undergoing treatment for Lyme disease. It seems logical that this approach may be useful in the hard to treat later stages of CNS lyme. This is probably because the immune stimulation response it provides is not limited by the blood/brain barrier, as are conventional antibiotics. While the exact mechanism of action is at present only partially understood, it appears that immunomodulator dietary supplements may act as enhancement for the antibiotics usually used for Lyme treatment, increasing their effectivness. RIDOXOLAN PLUS is an all natural product, 100% USDA Organically Certified and made in the United States. It is made from Beta-Glucansand other hetero-polysaccharides, and Nucleoside compounds extracted and concentrated from several different species of Medicinal Mushrooms, and is available without a prescription. Ask your doctor if Immune Enhancement could be the right choice for you, or get more information on this particular mode of therapy at the RIDOXOLAN PLUS page.

    SILVER AS ADJUNCT THERAPY
    Silver is also a noteworthy supplement to conventional treatment, and in late stages Lyme Arthritis so is gold therapy. While treatment with gold compounds is a very specialized field which only your doctor can prescribe, treatment with colloidal silver products is cheap, available, often effective and well worth exploring. A company that seems to offer good silver products is Vitamin Research Products Inc. and can be found at Silver Treatment for Lymes Disease.


    We hope that you have found some useful information here on our Lyme Disease page, and offer you these links to sites which we have found very helpfull.

    LINKS

    LYME DISEASE - AN ALTERNATIVE VIEW. ONE OF THE BEST LYME DISEASE SITES ON THE NET

    CDC (U.S. Gov't Center for Disease Control) Site

    American Lymes Disease Foundation (Good Site!)

    Infectious Diseases including Lyme Disease (intended for the Physician)

    Lyme disease in New Jersey

    Lyme Disease in New York

    ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

    I found the use of Silver as a treatment interesting, and the first time I had read about it.
    Anyone have Experience with that treatment?

    I know they can use Gold for the Arthritis conditions.

    [This Message was Edited on 08/12/2005]
  3. craziC

    craziC New Member

    Fancy seein you around here! Since DH and I live in an apartment building I've never really been concerned about ticks. I prolly should still check them out to make sure. Thanks for the great info! Hugs!
  4. Bruin63

    Bruin63 Member

    LOL, yeah fancy that, lol,
    How are you doing? Hope you have a good weekend, and yes, check your animals, after walks or trips to the Park.

    The Product's that protect our animals, are good for keeping them safe, but , if your dog has long hair like mine, the critters can ride in on their fur and jump on the floor, and get you. lol, Yikes. ;o]

    Hug's,
    sharonk
  5. Mikie

    Mikie Moderator

    Growing up in the foothills of the Rocky Mountains in CO, I can remember getting "tick shot" vaccines every spring. They didn't stop the Rocky Mountain Spotted Tick Fever but they made it less virulent if one were bit.

    A tick bit my little dog and we removed the tick and took him to the vet. It left his back legs paralyzed for a while but he recovered.

    We always checked ourselves for ticks even when we just went outside our homes. Every now and then, someone would die from a tick bite.

    Love, Mikie