Lyme gets all the attention, but what about all the other things ticks can be carrying along with, or instead of, Lyme? Depending upon where you live there can be a large variety of viruses, bacteria, pathogens, and goodness knows what else, that the ticks can be carrying.
In Nova Scotia, several different things have been found. There are several “co-infections” that are noted in the Nova Scotia Tick Borne Diseases Response Plan (https://novascotia.ca/dhw/CDPC/documents/2017_Tick_Borne_Disease_Response_Plan.pdf), but there are others that researchers at Dalhousie University have found. Dalhousie has been doing research on both blacklegged(deer) and dog(wood) ticks. They have found things in both.
There are also anecdotal stories of people with meat allergies in Nova Scotia, possibly from a Lone Star Tick. I believe I fit that bill as I had to stop eating red meat for two years after very intense reactions to pork, steak, etc. I then slowly tried to bring some back into my diet (crazy, but I love bacon, hamburger, steak!). I occasionally get away with it without any major response. Other times I’m not so lucky.
We truly do not know everything that ticks can be carrying and that’s why prevention is so important. Some of the illnesses, such as Powassan Virus, which doesn’t have a treatment, can apparently be transmitted in as little as 15 minutes.
More and more cases of a variety of “co-infections” are being diagnosed as some Doctors become more knowledgeable. However, in many areas, especially in Nova Scotia and Canada, most Doctors have little, to no, knowledge of all of the possible co-infections. Pretty hard to get a proper diagnosis if nobody knows what they are looking for.
Here are just a few possible co-infections:
- Powassan virus
- Rocky Mountain Spotted Fever
There are more! Some probably haven’t even been discovered yet!
Apparently, more and more ticks are carrying multiple pathogens. What are the resulting symptoms? Are the waters being muddied even more?
Have that shower shortly after coming inside! Do those daily tick checks! Do whatever you have to in order to prevent a bite!
Prevention is key! Knowledge is power!