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Lyme Disease in New Jersey

A black-legged tick, remedy a.k.a. “Deer Tick”.



Lyme disease is an infectious and debilitating disease that was first identified in New Jersey in 1981.  From 1990-2012 approximately 56, treat 000 cases of Lyme Disease have been reported in New Jersey alone and approximately 90% of Lyme Disease cases  originate from 13 Northeastern states.

For more information on the spread of Lyme Disease See the CDC’s interactive map here)

Lyme disease is caused by the spirochete (microorganism) Borrelia burgdorferi sensu stricto and is transmitted to humans through the bite of an infected Blacklegged Tick, medical also known as a Deer Tick, Ixodes scapularis. Approximately half of adult Blacklegged Ticks can harbor this disease and up to a quarter of immature ticks.  Although Lyme Disease is transmitted by ticks, the disease does not affect them.  Lyme Disease tends to build up in populations of Eastern Chipmunks and White-footed Mice, from there the disease can be spread to deer, humans and other larger mammals.  Infected humans cannot spread the disease to other humans, instead a tick is required to transmit the disease.

The dreaded Bulls-eye rash

Humans who have been bitten by an infected tick may not exhibit symptoms immediately, often the first outward symptom will be a large rash with a clear center, sometimes referred to as a “bull’s-eye” rash, anywhere from 3 to 30 days after the bite itself. Between 20%-30% of infected humans will show no sign of this rash. Other early symptoms may include extreme fatigue, headache, and nausea.  If left untreated, the disease can attack the heart, joints and central nervous system, causing severe and debilitating pain.  Approximately 10%-15% of affected patients will develop severe and immediate neurological symptoms including facial palsy, meningitis or encephalitis.

If you find a tick, it is very important to remove the tick immediately.  It’s best to use a pair of tweezers and gripping the head of the tick, remove the tick by pulling slowly, making sure you don’t crush the tick or tear it apart.  There are some companies like NJ Labs that offer a Lyme Disease test, click here for information about the test and the testing submission information. 

While tick testing is an excellent option, it should not replace proper medical attention.  Considering the infection timeline and the amount of time to obtain proper test results, it’s imperative to see a doctor immediately if you have any suspicion that the tick you’ve been bitten by is a Black-legged Tick.

Reducing your exposure to ticks is the only way to prevent Lyme Disease.  Always use insect repellent and wear long pants when camping, hiking or in other woodland areas.  Ticks favor areas with tall grass and leaf-litter, its best to avoid these areas if possible.  Keep your backyard well maintained, free of leaf litter and with a properly cut lawn with trimmed edges.  If you have pets, a proper flea and tick treatment is strongly advised.

Read more about Lyme Disease here.

For more information on Flea and Tick prevention, download our free eBook!

If you’d like more information on Bayonne Exterminating’s Flea and Tick Control Program click here for a free estimate.

 

First Domestic Case of Chikungunya Virus Confirmed

 

Aedes Aegypti or Yellow Fever Mosquito

For years the American public has been relatively unaffected by mosquito borne diseases, capsule partly due to the mild American climate as well as a limited number of pathogens and viable vector in the environment.  Unfortunately, prostate that has now changed, online maybe for good.

Most mosquito related diseases like Dengue fever and Yellow fever are limited to tropical areas with very limited dispersion on the North American continent.  The most significant mosquito related disease in the US, malaria, is now relegated to history books as huge public works projects, area wide mosquito control efforts and enormous amounts of public education have eliminated mosquito habitat and populations throughout the country.

Occasionally, smaller localized outbreaks of mosquito borne diseases like Eastern Equine Encephalitis will crop up and plague a small area.  Although of limited interest to the average person, the mosquito’s ability to spread diseases like tapeworm and encephalitis to animals is still a threat to farming communities or pets and pet owners.  These diseases have been limited in distribution and specific in scope, attacking small areas or groups of animals in recent years.  Unfortunately, that is about to change….

 

Chickungunya Checklist

In previous blogs we’ve discussed a new mosquito borne illness known as Chikungunya (pronounced “Chicken-gun-yah”) and it potential to go from an occasional imported disease to an established pathogen on the US mainland.  According to the CDC, the first case of domestically acquired Chikungunya was reported and confirmed on July 17th of this year in Florida.   Although almost 250 cases of Chikungunya have been reported in the US since 2006 all of these previous cases have been contracted by people traveling abroad before retuning hoe to the US.   In the July 17th case, the victim had not traveled abroad and transmission of the virus was confirmed as a local source.

Chikungunya is a complex disease that while not fatal, can cause severe pain and debilitation.  Subjects infected with the Chikungunya virus will exhibit a high fever and a significant amount of joint and body pain.  Other symptoms include, but are not limited to, headaches, joint swelling and rashes.  At this time there is no known vaccine for Chikungunya and although treatment does exist, affected individuals can suffer from symptoms for up to two years after initial exposure.  It is interesting to note that the Chikungunya virus cannot be spread directly from person to person, the virus requires distribution via mosquitoes like the Asian Tiger Mosquito (Aedes albopictus) and the Yellow Fever Mosquito (Aedes aegypti).

While New Jersey residents need not be immediately concerned they should be aware of the presence of Chikungunya both in the US as well as any potential vacation destinations.  A trip to Key West or the Caribbean would put the average vacationer in areas prone to harbor Chikungunya and other diseases.  It’s also worth noting that the Asian Tiger Mosquito has recently moved into New Jersey and has the potential to transmit Chikungunya and other mosquito related diseases to residents of the Garden State.

You can see the CDC’s original press release here

For your FREE copy of our new eBook “Practical Solutions for Reducing Mosquitoes in Your North Jersey Yard” click here!!

If you’d like to see what Bayonne Exterminating can do to reduce mosquito populations around your home, click here for a free estimate.