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Lyme-carrying ticks are popping up on California beaches: NPR

Black-legged ticks carrying Lyme-causing bacteria have been found in coastal areas around california beach

James Gathany/AP

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James Gathany/AP

Black-legged ticks carrying Lyme-causing bacteria have been found in coastal areas around california beach

James Gathany/AP

As temperatures rise in California and people want to relax on the beach There is a new concern besides damaging sunlight and intense underwater waves: the tick-borne disease that appears to have spread across the coast of the Golden State.

black legged spider Borrelia burgdorferiThe bacteria that cause Lyme are common on the East Coast. which are often found in forest and tall grass areas But new research shows vampires can thrive along the west coast, too. Although experts do not know the exact cause or method.

Unexpected house in California

Dan Salkeld, a biology researcher at Colorado State University in Fort Collins. It led a four-year study that found ticks on beaches along the northern California coast. From Mendocino County to Monterrey County They appear to be moving further south. including Malibu, Manhattan Beach and Newport Beach. Salkeld told NPR affiliate KCRW, although he noted that the threat of Lyme disease was minimal in those areas.

“Three combined studies done by other researchers … found that 1 out of 5,000 ticks were actually infected. So the risk in Southern California is very low,” he said.

According to research in Northern California, Salkeld said about 4% of adult ticks — which are larger and easier to find — carry the bacteria.

Still, coastal shrubs and grasses are surprisingly new habitat for the disease. Because those ecosystems are not traditional reservoirs.

Ticks on their own do not carry the bacteria that cause Lyme, in order for that to happen, they need to draw blood from live mammals. B. burgdorferi. On the east coast are deer and white-footed rats. in california which includes deer Western gray squirrels, field rats and rats, none of which live in seaside grasslands.

Lyme disease cases soar in California

“We know there are more ticks in more places,” said Lia Gaertner, director of education and information outreach at the Bay Area Lyme Foundation, which funded Salkeld’s research. with more germs than most people know

Because of his work, Gaernter added, “Now we can match what we see from personal experience. hearing from a doctor and hearing from patients

State Department of Health spokesman Ronald Owens told SFGate that by 2020 there will be fewer than 50 confirmed and likely infected Lyme cases, less than half the number commonly reported. he said

But Gaernter believes it’s a sadly incorrect way of counting cases, in which, in many cases, she said doctors were unable, unwilling, or untrained to identify or treat.

A 2018 report by Quest on Lyme disease said California cases jumped 195% between 2015 and 2017 and found him infected with the disease in all 50 states and the District of Columbia. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention estimates that Americans approximately 476,000 people are diagnosed and treated for Lyme disease each year.

Symptoms of Lyme Disease and How to Protect Yourself

Common symptoms of illness include fever, chills, headache, tiredness, muscle and joint pain. swollen lymph nodes and skin rash

But in the latter case, Gaertner cautions against relying on the appearance of a “crotch-shaped” rash that has been told for decades.

“It is believed that every infection with Lyme disease will have a rash like that. in fact The rash is mainly a solid red oval rash. So people shouldn’t think they don’t have it if they don’t see the target,” she said.

It can also be incredibly difficult to notice. Especially if they’re in the embryo stage, Salkeld explains they’re about the size of a poppy seed, while Gaertner says they’re about as small as a poppy seed. with dots on the computer screen

in any case It’s as dangerous as with mature ticks to spread various diseases and can eat for three to four days Therefore, it is necessary to perform a full body and head examination using a magnifying glass or smartphone magnifying glass after going out in the open air, according to Gaertner.

She recommends swapping out dark leggings for light clothing to make it easier to spot even the tiniest creatures. Also apply permethrin to bags, shoes and socks, which should always be pulled on the end of the sleeve. to prevent direct access to the legs “And always walk on a given path,” she said, adding that ticks like to “seek” atop tall grass. “Waiting for an opportunity to tie the knot”

Keeping ticks is very important.

when returning home Put the garment in the dryer on high heat for about 15 minutes to kill any remaining tourist ticks. a thorough bath Exfoliation under the armpits, behind the knees and the genital area This will help wash away the ticks that have not been sucked out.

If you find a tick, he’s the only way to properly remove it is with pointed-nose tweezers. Because you don’t want it to vomit bacteria onto you,” Gaertner says.

Take it off and don’t leave it!

But she said to wrap it in damp toilet paper. put in a plastic sandwich bag and then mailed to a tick testing laboratory. She said that within 3 days they could tell what kind of tick it was. How long has it been feeding? And what disease does it carry? “That’s very important information for people to share with their doctors,” Gaertner said.

Gaertner offers one last piece of advice for those who feel afraid to go out: “I know it sounds scary. But knowing how scary it can be makes you safer.”

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