Ticks and Lyme disease have regained center stage, as cases of Lyme disease have spiked in portions of North America. Recently, the Toronto District School Board was forced to send out pieces of information to students, faculty and parents in order to quell some of the concerns that have arisen, as more ticks have been spotted in the region. Deer ticks, or blacklegged ticks are the ones that are of the biggest concern. These are the ones which carry Lyme disease, and often are a part of a serious problem in the health and medical communities.
Some officials, like Jim Wilson, of the Canadian Lyme Disease Foundation points out that this year in particular has seen a significant increase in the number of ticks seen in the wild. That being said though there is one thing in particular, experts say, that those who might potentially be exposed to ticks should use bug spray that contains DEET. In terms of repellant, only those containing DEET are deemed strong enough to actually combat the blacklegged ticks.
In the Toronto area, Toronto Public Health has said that they would take in any tick samples to test them, and to determine whether they would be carrying potentially hazardous diseases. However, some medical professionals believe that it might actually be possible for tick bites to have long-term effects beyond the initial bout of Lyme disease. It’s been a long-standing notion that medicines have been so effective at combating Lyme disease that those who feel as though they still have the symptoms after the initial bout – are either faking, or are misinterpreting the signals from their body.
Interestingly though, John Hopkins researchers plan to explore and spend more time researching this so-called illness that has presented itself long after the initial bout of Lyme disease has been defeated. The researchers are going to be looking at what those long-term effects of Lyme disease might be, and in particular, how those with Lyme disease cope after they have been freed of the disease. Lyme disease impacts 300,000 people per year, and as John Aucott points out, who is the lead researcher that has been tapped for this project pointed out, “If you live anywhere from Maine to Virginia, it’s almost impossible for Lyme disease not to affect someone you know, someone in your family or yourself.”
One of the things that the research team with John Hopkins will be looking into is how to diagnose and treat the disease faster. In doing so, researchers hope that they’re able to combat the disease in a way that it hasn’t ever been combated before. In doing so though, they also hope that they’re able to completely challenge the norms of the disease to this point and even battle past some of the long-term issues that those who experience Lyme disease often are left struggling with for years, and years.