As pleasant summer weather entices people to spend more time outdoors, ticks are also out in full force, looking to attach to a host. In New York City, the Department of Health launched a campaign on June 9 to increase public awareness of ticks and the many diseases they carry. A children’s workbook with a dog named “Tick Check Harry” teaches children how to identify and remove ticks from themselves. It is available on the NY website: http://www1.nyc.gov/site/doh/health/health-topics/ticks.page
In Pike County, Pennsylvania, the Tick-Borne Illness Task Force is working to inform citizens and medical professionals about the various pathogens transmitted by ticks. Lyme disease is one of more than a dozen tick-borne illnesses that can have devastating effects on the body, and it is not uncommon for ticks to carry–and transmit–multiple pathogens at once.
The magnitude of tick-borne illnesses on human health is substantial. Dr. Robert Ollar, a microbiologist, had this to say about the dangers of tick-borne illnesses: “Envision a four-foot poisonous deadly snake on your porch, but your door and windows are closed. In your basement there are termites that are devouring your home. Most people would be more afraid of the snake than the termites, but that’s what’s happening here.” Tick-borne illnesses are becoming more prevalent, and because insects and humans travel, no place or human is immune to them.
Coppe Laboratories provides testing for tick-borne illness including Lyme, Babesiosis, and Powassan Virus infection. www.coppelabs.com