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Friday, July 22, 2011

Lyme disease threatens Central New York

With the arrival of summer weather most people are taking advantage of the great outdoor opportunities we have in upstate New York. Unfortunately, this year many sources have reported an increase in the number of deer ticks and incidences of Lyme disease.

Over the years we watched the spread of Lyme disease from the Lower Hudson Valley towards upstate. Now it is here.
Most of us are aware of the seriousness of Lyme disease. I have done several columns discussing it and means of preventing it in past years. This is not some distant threat, since I have had family and their pets who have contracted the disease, as well as some friends who have had it.
As some local veterinarians and DEC personnel said to me a couple years ago, we need to be concerned about our pets as well. Carefully check your dog for ticks, remove them and have your dog treated when it develops the first signs of the disease.
Lyme disease is an infection that can produce skin, arthritic, cardiac and neurological disorders. It is caused by bacterium which is spread by the bite of the deer tick. These are tiny parasitic insects that are about the size of a sesame seed and are difficult to detect. They can be found in almost any outdoor location with vegetation, as well as on animals.
Ticks live in shady, moist areas at ground level. They especially frequent piles of old leaves or stone walls. But they also cling to tall grass, brush, and shrubs up to a height of 24 inches and get on animals and humans by direct contact.
When you think you may have been exposed to ticks, you should check carefully for the small black insects. Carefully remove them with a tweezers and take the tick in a container to your physician for evaluation. Do not smother the tick with Vaseline or apply heat since this might cause the tick to regurgitate infectious fluids.
The best way to avoid the insects is prevention. Try to stay in the middle of the trail when hiking. Wear long pants with bottoms tucked into socks or gaiters to prevent ticks from climbing up your legs. Light colored clothing will help you spot the ticks easier. Spraying your clothing with permethrin is effective but it must be done before you put it on. It is nasty stuff and you should avoid getting it on your skin.
Use an insect repellent on any exposed skin. Traditionally this has meant something with DEET, which can also cause problems through prolonged or excessive use. Some people are sensitive or even allergic to DEET so this must be used carefully.
Bug Guard has proved to be an effective alternative to DEET and can provide protection for animals as well. It is designed to repel mosquitoes, black flies and ticks for eight hours. It comes in various forms including a spray which is effective, but not toxic.
Some vets have suggested Bug Guard for dogs as well as ourselves. The vet pointed out that not only was it effective in repelling ticks and black flies, but it was safe to use on dogs since none of the ingredients will harm the dog if it licked itself, as dogs are prone to do.
Symptoms and severity of Lyme disease vary widely in people. Usually, but not always, there is a bulls-eye rash. Fever, headache, fatigue, stiff neck and joint pain are other early warnings. Pets may exhibit a sudden onset of lameness in one or more of the animal’s legs.
As always, check with your physician if there is any question. To find out more about Lyme disease contact the NYS Department of Health at 1-800-458-1158, Madison County Health Dept., or contact the American Lyme Disease Foundation at Mill Pond Offices, 293 Rte 100, Somers, NY 10589 or call 1-800-876-LYME.
Lyme Disease is no longer something we have to worry about in the future. It is here in Central NY right now. Understanding the problem and taking precautions are the best way to protect yourself, your family and pets from this serious threat.
DEER MANAGEMENT COMMENTS: The DEC will be accepting comments on the proposed deer management plan through next Thursday, July 28 at the web site:

The plan calls for liberalized antlerless deer permits in some areas, continuing antler restrictions in WMUs in southeastern NY, having an early October youth hunt and opening the archery season on October 1. There has been much comment on the plan, especially from New York Bowhunters and members of their organization.
It seems that bowhunters do not want a youth hunt during "their" season and are upset at a possibility of muzzleloader season in the northern zone. Of course if some of them had their way they would also eliminate small game and turkey hunting in the fall as well.
Take the time to make your opinions known on this important topic.
ARMSTRONG CHILDREN BENEFIT SHOOT: The Peterboro Conservation Club will hold a Benefit Shoot on August 21. Proceeds from the event will go to the children of Brett Armstrong who was killed in a logging accident earlier this year. It will be held at the Peterboro Conservation Club grounds at 5155 Old County Road beginning at 10 a.m. There will be shooting events, a 50-50 raffle, silent auction, food and beverages. For more information contact Doug at 882-8457 or Bob at 420-8655.
FISHING TOURNAMENT: The Bill Wooler Fish-On Memorial Tournament will be held August 27 on Oneida Lake. There will be both adult and youth divisions and proceeds will benefit the Wooler Scholarship Fund. Sponsors include Pirate Charters, Marion Manor Marina, The Oneida Daily Dispatch and Contact Matt White at 315-762-8148 for details.
BACKPACKING TIP: Use your watch as a compass. If you are lost without a compass, point the hour hand of your watch at the sun. Halfway between the hour hand and the 12 on the watch will be south. This works even with Daylight Saving Time.
YOUTH TRAPPING CAMP: The New York State Trappers Association is proud to announce that the Youth Trapping Camp will be held October 7–10 at the Twin Rivers Council Rotary Boy Scout Camp. These camps for youth ages 12-15 are sponsored by NYSTA in cooperation with the NYS DEC.
The organization has designed these Youth Trapping Camps to extend and enhance the State’s current 8 hour long trapper education class, which is required of all new trappers regardless of age. The program will allow for in-depth education of various trapping and outdoor related topics. The camps will be staffed by NYSTA trappers and training instructors with DEC assistance. Applications for the Youth Trapping Camp, fees, directions or sponsoring a camper, can be obtained from Patricia Arnold at 315-644-4643 or
PAYNE’S AIR SERVICE: In a recent article on the Central Adirondacks I inadvertently left out mention of seaplane service. Whether it is scenic rides or flying to remote areas for camping or fishing trips, you should consider Payne’s Air Service on Seventh Lake just north of Inlet. Call 357-3971 for complete information on services and locations.


Blogger kumar said...

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September 7, 2011 at 12:32 AM 
Blogger kaney said...

Lyme disease, most common tick-borne rash disease, especially the disease has been observed in United States and Europe. Lyme disease, caused by an infection with bacteria named Borrelia burgdorferi, which are carried by the host deer ticks. Deer Ticks, when feed on blood of animals and humans harbor the infectious bacteria and the disease and when feeding wide spreading it.

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May 30, 2012 at 10:24 PM 

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