When we think of tick borne diseases, the first and most common name that springs to mind is Lyme disease. This bacterial infection is spread to humans via the bite of an infected deer tick. which often goes unnoticed, leaving the tick to remain feeding and passing on its nasty germs. Lyme disease has also been reported to assist in the spread of other viruses transmitted by ticks.
Lyme Helps Spread Other Tick Infections
Lyme disease may be the most well known illness spread by ticks. But it’s far from the only one. The most common vector for Lyme is the deer tick, and it spreads five other known pathogens. One of those pathogens is what’s called the Babesia parasite. It infects red blood cells, like malaria, causing the sometimes-fatal disease babesiosis.
So what exactly is Babesiosis? Here’s an informative video with an explanation.
Tickborne diseases are becoming a serious problem in this country as people increasingly build homes in formerly uninhabited wilderness areas where ticks and their animal hosts live. Tickborne diseases can be caused by viruses, bacteria, or parasites. Most people become infected through tick bites during the spring and summer months.
Rocky Mountain spotted fever, a bacterial disease transmitted by the dog tick, was first identified in 1896. It still exists, although now it can be easily treated. Since then, researchers have identified many new tickborne diseases.
Next time you’re in areas where ticks like to hang out, take extra care and remember just what threats surround us from these teeny tiny pests.