Education Key to Stop Tick-Borne Illnesses ( + Dr R Horowitz's point of view )

Ticks are out in full force this year, especially on Cape Cod and Martha's Vineyard, so education and prevention of tick-borne diseases is essential. We also need to have local health departments check ticks regularly for changing patterns of co-infections, as diseases like Tularemia are now being found in high numbers of ticks on the Cape. Unless a health care provider was made aware of the risk for a disease like Tularemia from a local tick bite, it would not normally be an infection most doctors would consider in their differential diagnosis if a patient came in with fatigue, fever, swollen lymph nodes, and a headache. "There have been perhaps 130 cases of tularemia on the Vineyard over the last 15 years, accounting for about 10 per cent of nationally reported cases. Symptoms typically include an ulcer at the site of the infection, swollen lymph glands, fever, chills, headache and exhaustion". Other manifestations of Tularemia include oculoglandular manifestations (conjunctivitis and swollen lymph nodes) as well as a typhoidal form that can cause diarrhea. Several tick-borne infections like Borrelia hermsii (relapsing fever), Ehrlichiosis and Rocky Mountain Spotted Fever can also cause diarrhea, (with other G.I. manifestations), acting as "great imitators", so health care providers need to be on the alert for atypical manifestations of tick-borne illnesses. Many patients that I see with Lyme-MSIDS who have been sick for years suffer from Lyme and multiple tick-borne infections simultaneously, accounting in part for the failure of short term therapies. I discuss Tularemia and its various manifestations on pages 128 to 130 of "Why Can't I Get Better?". http://vineyardgazette.com/…/education-key-stop-tick-borne-…
Sam Telford and Dick Johnson arrived at South Beach in the early afternoon Wednesday in long-sleeved shirts and pants tucked into their socks. Mr. Telford, a...
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