If there is one thing I despise about summer (besides the humidity and staying out in the sun for a lengthy amount of time) the influx of insects is rampant, especially when it comes to ticks. It seems like there are plenty of them out there here in the Berkshires and all across our tri-state region which can cause severe health issues for many of us. Keep in mind, they are so small you can't detect them as those who spend time outdoors need to be cautious at all times as Lyme disease cases have astronomically risen.

Tick with its head sticking in human skin, red blotches indicate an infection
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Massachusetts State Public Health Officials warn we are in the heart of tick season which begins in June and continues until August. It is also advisable to check your four legged friends as they are also vulnerable to similar symptoms that humans have to wrestle with once they become infected by these irate insects who have a tendency to hide in places unobtrusive to the human eye.

Cape Cod Cooperative Extension entomologist Larry Dapsis reiterated:

"The infection rate for nymphal ticks is 20% compared to the adult stage, which is 50% but the nymphs are responsible for 85% of all tick-borne diseases".

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So what can you to protect yourself from suffering setbacks? While outdoors bring a can of insect repellent especially by applying a coating of permethrin that is safe for clothing attire as you need to spray your walking shoes until they are visibly wet and wear long pants and long sleeves for added protection. Even though outdoor enthusiasts want to remain comfortable, this is a true safety net to add further protection from any future health setbacks.

If in case you get bit by one of these pesky unwelcomed insects, we have some steps that can add to future complications:

Close up of lone star or seed tick in macro on a male finger isolated on white
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Carefully remove any ticks, particularly with a pair of tweezers and if possible, mail to TickReport for further testing. For more information, log on their web site.

If you have experienced a tick bite, contact your primary care physician immediately as you would be prescribed a dosage of prophylactic doxycycline to prevent further symptoms of Lyme disease. The antibiotic would be administered between two to three weeks after diagnosis.

Larry Dapsis also offers another statistic as this could be problematic in nature:

"Approximately 10% of people who got Lyme disease will end up having some sort of chronic Lyme condition and this includes people who have been treated with antibiotics in a timely manner". 

Statistics show that chronic Lyme disease and COVID-19 symptoms are synonymous in nature which include muscle pain, fatigue, and sleep disorders. This could also lead to other setbacks including anxiety, depression and "brain fog" (a hazing to remember). This must be treated immediately to prevent future cardiac, neurological and joint problems.

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Fortunately, a new treatment has surfaced as a antibiotic targets the eradication of a spiral-shaped bacterium as it's effects differ from doxycycline. Again, check with your doctor to make sure the proper medication is dispensed to avoid further setbacks. recent experiments with lab mice also show the effectiveness of Hygromycin as further development is in stages with The Food And Drug Administration.

For more detailed information, check out the subject matter of this article written by the publication, Medical XPress by going here.

Another interesting fact: Hawaii is the ONLY state that has NOT exhibited problems with ticks and Lyme disease related symptoms even though there is a plethora of mountainous and wooded terrain to explore in the Aloha State.

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