Dr. Torres Discusses Tick-Borne Illnesses On The Today Show
This is a great video segment that the Today Show ran. While it’s national in scope, it definately applies the Virginia and Maryland neighborhoods that we service.
The Today Show has been informing, sharing tips, entertaining and broadcasting news stories for 67 years. So when they brought Dr. John Torres on the show to discuss the rise of tick-borne illnesses and how to spot and treat them, we were intrigued.
Tick-borne illnesses have more than doubled in the past decade, partly because new types of ticks are surfacing in the U.S. NBC medical correspondent Dr. John Torres joins TODAY to share symptoms of tick-borne diseases and how to stay safe. Read more at Today.com…
The interview began with a discussion on the current data. Cases of Lyme disease, the most common tick-borne illness in the US, have increased by 20% since 2017. There are also 300,000 cases of Lyme disease reported every year. Over the last 20 years, 7 new tick viruses have been discovered as well as an allergic reaction to red meat caused by tick bites.
Reported cases increasing
In 2017, state and local health departments reported a record number of cases of tickborne diseases to CDC. The reported numbers of cases of Lyme disease, anaplasmosis/ehrlichiosis, spotted fever rickettsiosis (including Rocky Mountain spotted fever), babesiosis, tularemia, and Powassan virus disease all increased—from a total of 48,610 reported cases in 2016 to a total of 59,349 reported cases in 2017. Reported cases capture only a fraction of the overall number of people with tickborne illnesses. Even so, the number of reported cases of Lyme disease in the United States has tripled since the late 1990s. Read more at CDC…
Additionally, Dr. Torres gave the main reason why Lyme disease has been spreading. The culprit is climate change. The warmer weather up north and increased moisture have led to more ticks. It has also led to more kinds of ticks.
Another question posed was regarding the symptoms of tick-borne diseases. How can one tell that he or she has a tick-borne disease? This is especially because it’s difficult to feel a tick, so you may not know you’ve even been bitten?
The most common symptoms of tick-related illnesses are:
Fever/chills: With all tickborne diseases, patients can experience fever at varying degrees and time of onset.
Aches and pains: Tickborne disease symptoms include headache, fatigue, and muscle aches. With Lyme disease you may also experience joint pain. The severity and time of onset of these symptoms can depend on the disease and the patient’s personal tolerance level. Read more at CDC…
Dr. Torres also broke down the time between a tick bite and disease symptoms. For Lyme disease, it’s 36 to 48 hours. For Powassan, it’s merely 15 minutes. As for Rocky Mountain Spotted Fever, it’s 4 to 72 hours.
When discussing treatment, Dr. Torres focused more on prevention. If you have symptoms, self-treatment isn’t really an option. You can take medicine to treat headaches and fever, but you also need to visit a hospital if you are symptomatic. Wearing long-sleeve clothes and tucking pants into socks is vital whenever you are outdoors.
Spraying yourself with bug spray like picaridin, eucalyptus oil or DEET is another tip. Treating your clothes, gear, and shoes (not your body) with permethrin will repel ticks. Finally, checking yourself, pets and kids for ticks after being outdoors is crucial.
Check your body for ticks after being outdoors. Conduct a full body check upon return from potentially tick-infested areas, including your own backyard. Use a hand-held or full-length mirror to view all parts of your body. Read more at CDC…
If you do find a tick, remember to remove it using tweezers to grab its head and then pull it away from your body. Don’t use your fingers because you’ll squeeze the tick, releasing bacteria or viruses into your body. Take a picture of the tick to report it, bag it in alcohol, then discard it by, for example, flushing it down the drain. Remember to clean the bitten area with soap and alcohol.
It will only take you 4 minutes to watch the full video and see reactions to these tick-borne disease statistics and solutions. After all, Edgar Dale’s core of experience states that “…people remember 10% of what they read…and 50% of what they see and hear…”
Call Backyard Bug Patrol to discuss a tick-control plan that works for you. We also have 100% organic options available. We service Great Falls, McLean, Fairfax County, Loudoun County, Ashburn, Alexandria, Potomac, Maryland, Montgomery, Bethesda, Kentlands, Gaithersburg, Columbia, Annapolis and many other areas.
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