I HATE ticks. They are disgusting little blood suckers. I have human friends who suffer from the effects of Lyme disease. It was a tick with Lyme that infected my old dog, CoffeeDog. I put CoffeeDog to sleep in 2006 because of Lyme related issues. In my book, ticks are gross. But they bring more than just Lyme.  

The Maine Center for Disease Control and Prevention have found anaplasmosis in in our back yards in Kennbec, Somerset, Androscoggin, Cumberland, Hancock, Knox, Lincoln and York counties. Since the ticks like the summer weather, the experts expect to see more of these tick related issues as the summer goes on.

Anaplasmosis is a bacterial infection that is carried by the deer tick, which is the same icky tick that also carries Lyme disease. OH and the symptoms of anaplasmosis are things like fever, headache, body aches, cough, stiff neck and confusion. Not to make light of it, but gees, I feel like that most days. But in reading the MeCDC’s health alert, it was happy to see they consider it treatable and most patients recover after receiving appropriate therapy.

Other diseases that are carried by ticks in Maine include babesiosis and Lyme disease. While all different, tick related diseases seem to share many of the same type of symptoms. I am not being a drama queen. In 2011, 96% of Lyme disease cases were reported from 13 states most of them in the North East United States. Lyme disease is the most commonly reported vectorborne illness in the United States–in 2011, it was the 6th most common Nationally Notifiable disease.

Be careful when you are out enjoying the nature Maine has to offer.  There are ways to lower your risk with ticks for you , our four legged friends and in our yards. The MeCDC  suggests you should wear light-colored clothing so you to see ticks that are crawling on your clothing, tuck your pant leg into your socks so that ticks cannot crawl up the inside of your pants legs.  There are repellents to discourage tick attachment. But for people ad pets, the big thing is the ‘tick check’ and remove any tick you find on your body.

Removing a tick is not that hard. I have a ‘tick spoon’. It scoops them right off the skin. There are other ways and it you can read all about it. Gives me the willies.

If you are bitten there are something’s to keep in mind. Most of the time the bit site will have a ‘bulls eye’ looking rash. But not always!   Check out all the things you need to know for symptoms of a tick bite and treatments.

I can tell you, if I find a tick in my skin.  After I stop hyperventilating and get IT OFF OF ME,  I will be calling my doctor. So whatever may or may not happen, I will be on it as soon as possible. Same for the dog and his vet.