Posts Tagged lyme disease treatment

Virginia Passes Lyme Disease Bill

Spring is right around the corner, and with the warmer weather comes an influx of mosquitoes and ticks. With growing numbers of West Nile Virus and Lyme disease, municipalities are growing more and more aware of the dangers of vector-borne disease. Many local governments have already planned for more widespread mosquito control and now Virginia has passed a new bill dealing with Lyme disease.

Ticks Populations increase

Tick populations are on the rise, make sure you keep close attention when spending time outdoors

Lyme disease numbers in Virginia have been rising the last few years. This past week Governor McDonnell passed the Lyme Disease Testing Awareness Act. The act requires doctors to warn patients that current Lyme disease testing isn’t 100% accurate and that false negatives can occur. Physicians will be expected to start informing their patients starting July 1, 2013.

The bill was sponsored by Fairfax delegate Barbara Comstock who believes it is a positive step towards a more open-minded approach to treating Lyme. Transmitted by ticks, Lyme disease is easily treatable by antibiotics when caught early. The earlier it is properly diagnosed, the better the chance of a full recovery. Unfortunately, Lyme disease isn’t always easy to diagnose and when left untreated can result in serious, if not lifelong, complications, including joint paint and heart disease.

Monte Skall, the executive director of National Capital Lyme Disease Association, explains that the bill “was truly a successful grass-roots effort, proving that people are working together can bring about real change to benefit victims of Lyme disease.” Source.

Comstock adds that it was “a great step in raising awareness about this terrible disease and the high incidence of patients receiving false negative tests for Lyme” Source.

As spring and summer come and we spend more time outdoors, it’s important to vigilant as to your surroundings but also aware that ticks aren’t only present in woods, but everywhere outdoors. To minimize your chances of getting Lyme disease, you need to minimize your exposure to ticks. When spending significant time outdoors, it’s best to wear light colored loose clothing, that way you can see if a tick is on you. After coming indoors, do a thorough body checking, paying particular attention to hard to reach areas like behind the knees and under your arms. If you find a tick on you, remove it promptly (following this guide from the Center for Disease Control) and place the tick in a plastic bag. If you are worried that the tick may be a Lyme carrier, take it to the doctor and have it tested.

Mosquito Squad stops ticks dead in their tracks

Mosquito Squad stops ticks dead in their tracks

At Mosquito Squad, we protect our clients from ticks in their backyards with our professional tick control. Our barrier spray kills adult ticks on contact. Additionally we use tick tubes to kill the ticks before they can bite our clients. If you have a large tick population on your property or just want to be extra careful this year, contact your local Mosquito Squad office.

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Senator Wants National Lyme disease Strategy

As the United States continues to fight the increase in ticks this year and the diseases they can carry, Rhode Island’s Senator, Jack Reed, is hoping to bring more attention to Lyme disease and move towards developing a national strategy to combat it:

“Lyme disease is a serious health problem and infected ticks are being found in greater numbers in Rhode Island and other parts of the country. It is important for people to be aware and know what they can do to protect themselves and their families. We also want to ensure doctors and nurses have the latest tools and training they need to properly diagnose and treat patients. I am working to boost federal research and coordination to help prevent Lyme disease and strengthen surveillance of tick-borne illnesses.” Source.

Reed has been working with national and local experts to research Lyme. According to Professor Thomas Mather, director of the URI Center for Vector-Borne Disease and Tick Encounter Resource Center, tick surveillance shows a 142% increase is deer tick populations over the last 5 years in Rhode Island (80% up over last year).  Additionally, the CDC reported a 16% increase of reported Lyme disease cases through mid-May this year as compared to 2011.

Reed’s Lyme and Tick-Borne Disease Prevention, Education and Research Act would:

  • Establish a tick-borne disease advisory committee,
  • Coordinate increased research and development around Lyme disease
  • And increase education through community-based education.

The best way to battle Lyme disease is to minimize your risk of being bitten by an infected deer tick. At Mosquito Squad, we recommend the 6Cs of treatment:

  1. Clear out. Reduce your tick exposure by clearing out areas where lawn and tree debris gathers. Ticks thrive in moist, shady areas and tend to die in sunny, dry areas. Locate compost piles away from play areas or high traffic. Separate them with wood chips or gravel. Don’t position playground equipment, decks and patios near treed areas.
  2. Clean. Eliminate leaf litter and brush by cleaning it up around the house and lawn edges, mow tall grasses and keep your lawn short.
  3. Choose plants. Select plants and shrubs that are not attractive to deer and/or install physical barriers to keep deer out of your yard. Check with your local nursery to determine the best choices for your area.
  4. Check hiding places. Know tick hiding places and check them frequently. Fences, brick walls and patio retaining walls are popular hiding places.
  5. Care for family pets. Family pets can suffer from tick-borne disease and also carry infected ticks into the home. Talk to your veterinarian about using tick collars and sprays. As with all pest control products, be sure to follow directions carefully.
  6. Call the pros. Professionals utilize both barrier sprays that can kill live ticks on the spot as well as “tick tubes.” Strategically placed, “tick tubes” prompt field mice to incorporate tick-killing material in their bedding, effectively eliminating hundreds of tick nymphs found in each mouse nest.

If you are interested in learning more about tick control for your yard, please contact your local Mosquito Squad office.

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