Tick-Borne Supremacy

There are no more predators left in Europe. Aside from tourists…and ticks. What is it with all the tick-borne disease out there these days? Some people say that the tick epidemic is directly related to the over-population of deer, which is directly related to the lack of real predators. Seems like people are very good at hunting down the real big predators but very bad at eliminating the little ones.

Adrianne blogged about Lyme disease in the US last year and included stats from all the different states. This article talks about the number of people affected by tick-borne disease soaring in the UK.

The map shows the areas of Europe most affected by tick-borne disease. Yellow for encephalitis, blue for Lyme disease (in the UK only?) Click on the map for a bigger picture.

The map doesn’t seem entirely accurate. Although the Czech Republic is in a yellow zone, a few of my friends got Lyme disease there in the last few months. All of them are OK now after being treated with antibiotics. I do, however, know other people who are in very bad shape as a result of Lyme disease.

Caution: Ticks & Lyme Disease

Ticks usually aren’t a concern of mine when traveling, unless of course there is a huge problem with them in the area, but for the most part I have been tick worry free. However, the other day, one of our unsuspecting walkers on the Steps Across team had one on her shirt searching for her flesh. Searching to take a nice cool bath and sip of her ruby red blood, I’m positive. Before the little creature could prove successful in its mission (thankfully) another walker from our group saw the vicious insect lying low and swooshed it up and off the other’s shirt. Whew! Too close of a call if you ask me. Point of this story – know your insects I guess and if you don’t plan on studying fuzzy creepy crawlers, then at least know where more of them are hiding out. There is a current short piece from the Chicago Tribune listing states with the highest Lyme disease rate, which means the ticks are lurking. Here’s the list of CDC figures from Backpacker magazine as found in the Chicago Tribune:

  • Rhode Island 68.39
  • Pennsylvania 46.34
  • Connecticut 40.28
  • New Jersey 33.42
  • New York 28.13
  • Delaware 25.93
  • Massachusetts 23.81
  • New Hampshire 14.76
  • Wisconsin 13.52
  • Maine 13.40