Posts Tagged Rocky Mountain Spotted Fever

Can Ticks Transmit Disease in Just 10 Minutes?

Ticks, like mosquitoes, are vectors of disease. When feeding, they transmit saliva and bacteria into their host’s skin and bloodstream. While Lyme disease may have received the most news in recent years, Rocky Mountain spotted fever can be extremely dangerous and is the most lethal rickettsial disease.

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The wood tick is known to transmit Rocky Mountain Spotted Fever in the United States.

When it comes to transmitting Rocky Mountain, a new study out of Brazil is reporting that ticks don’t need as much time as we thought. Current literature states that the disease can be transmitted in 2 to 10 hours, but there are cases when the transmission could take place in just 10 minutes!

Marcelo Labruna of the University of Sao Paulo led the study where ticks were observed feeding on different animals. They found that if ticks had recently fed and then went to feed on another animal, they were able to transmit disease quicker than when they were first feeding.

The study also found that dogs play a primary roll in the spread of Rocky Mountain spotted fever in Brazil (know there as Brazilian fever). The majority of cases in the area are diagnosed in children and women who have little contact with tick habitats. It’s most likely that dogs are carrying ticks into the home or yard where they are then attaching to family members, meaning that they have previously fed.

A different type of tick, the wood tick, transmits Rocky Mountain in the US than in Brazil. That could result in different findings when it comes to transmission of the disease. Patrick Leisch, entomologist at the University of Wisconsin, explains that the best way to protect yourself from all tick-borne diseases is to avoid tick habitats, protect yourself properly, and educate yourself on the pest.

At Mosquito Squad, we protect our clients from the nuisance and dangers of ticks with our tick control services. We use a combination of our barrier spray and tick tubes to greatly reduce the tick population on a property. The barrier spray, applied by trained technicians every 2-3 weeks, eliminates adult ticks on contact. Tick tubes are placed on the property twice a year normally and use mice as a vehicle for the tick control product.

If you have questions on how to protect yourself from ticks and the diseases they transmit, please refer to the Centers for Disease control website or call your local Mosquito Squad office.

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Tick-borne diseases in the United States

Ticks carry lots of diseases also. As urban sprawl continues, we come in closer and closer contact with deer and mice that carry ticks that could be infected with tick-borne diseases. Ticks carry a lot more than just Lyme Disease

According to the CDC, here are some of the other diseases that can be carried by ticks in the United States.

  • Anaplasmosis is transmitted from the blacklegged tick  in the northeastern and upper midwestern U.S. and the western blacklegged tick along the Pacific coast. Symptoms> headaches, fever, chills, and muscle aches
  • Babesiosis is transmitted by the blacklegged tick found primarily in the eastern United States. Symptoms> fever, chills, sweats, headache, body aches, loss of appetite, nausea, or fatigue.
  • Ehrlichiosis is transmitted by the lone star tick found primarily in the south central and eastern parts of the U.S. Symptoms> fever, headache, fatigue, muscle aches, nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, cough, joint pains, confusion, occasionally rash
  • Rickettsiosis is carried by the Gulf Coast tick. Symptoms> fever, headache, fatigue, muscle aches
  • Rocky Mountain Spotted Fever is transmitted by several ticks – the American dog tick Rocky Mountain wood tick, and the brown dog tick. Symptoms> fever, nausea, vomiting, muscle pain, lack of appetite, severe headache
  • STARI (Southern Tick-Associated Rash Illness) is transmitted via bites from the lone star tick found in the southeastern and eastern U.S.
  • Tickborne relapsing fever (TBRF) is transmitted to humans through the bite of infected soft ticks. TBRF has been reported in 15 states: Arizona, California, Colorado, Idaho, Kansas, Montana, Nevada, New Mexico, Ohio, Oklahoma, Oregon, Texas, Utah, Washington, and Wyoming and is associated with sleeping in rustic cabins and vacation homes.
  • Tularemia is transmitted to humans by the dog tick, the wood tick, and the lone star tick. It occurs throughout the U.S.
  • 364D Rickettsiosis is transmitted by the Pacific Coast tick. This is a new disease that has been found in California.

As you can see, most of the symptoms are the symptoms you might see when you have the flu. Going into cold and flu season, experts advise watching prolonged persistence of these symptoms and be aware of some good ways to avoid coming in contact with ticks.

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