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Forget Ebola, Sars and Zika: Ticks Are the Next Global Health Threat

Billions of dollars have been spent on studying diseases like ebola, SARS and Zika, but when it comes to Lyme disease and ticks, financial support and studies on the two are noticeably lacking. And, according to The Guardian, this dearth of science is leading to a global health threat that, in some cases can lead to death, as Lyme disease is not the only disease spread by tick bites. For example, Crimean-Congo hemorrhagic fever is spread by ticks, with mortality rates in humans as high as 40 percent.

Since national surveillance for Lyme disease began in 1982, the number of reported cases have grown 25-fold, but there could be as many as 10 times more cases that go unreported. Also called the “great imitator,” Lyme disease may mimic arthritis, fibromyalgia, neurological symptoms, cognitive deficits and multiple sclerosis to name a few conditions, and the rate of infection is growing. And the thing is, recognizing symptoms, testing for Lyme and treating it are baffling for many physicians, meaning that many people suffer while their doctors puzzle about what’s wrong with them. When you add in the other diseases that ticks can cause, it certainly is a health hazard to be reckoned with.

An important key here is to also recognize the possibility that it might not be ticks alone that are contributing to these diseases. Some top authorities on Lyme disease, like Dr. Dietrich Klinghardt, have been warning for some time that the bacteria that cause the disease may also be spread by other insects such as fleas, mosquitoes, mites and spiders.

Even worse, although chronic Lyme disease is more widely recognized as an actual disease, there continues to be resistance in the medical community and with insurers. Sufferers are often told the problem is psychiatric. With spring just around the corner, it’s important that you be your own health advocate by taking prevention seriously. Avoid tick-infested areas such as leaf piles around trees. Walk in the middle of tails. Wear light-colored long pants and long sleeves so it will be easier to see ticks on your body. And, if you find a tick attached to you, it's very important to remove it properly.
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