Emerging insect-borne infectious diseases.

King Ben’s Grandma tagged me to participate in 3.2.1. Quote Me. I swore I would never participate in one of these blog games again, but now look: I’m all in. So here are the rules:

  1. Thank the selector (Thanks Grandma)
  2. Post 2 quotes for the dedicated Topic of the Day
  3. Select 3 bloggers to take part in 3.2.1 Quote Me’

Something is unclear to me… do I pick my own topic or do I use the topic that King Ben’s Grandma used. At times, I can be seriously lazy, like now. Since I’m too lazy to ask how it works, I’ll just do as I please. My topic of the day is emerging insect-borne infectious diseases.

Yesterday my family was at the beach. As Eli and I waited for Susan and Sophie to catch up on beach preparation (packing bags, getting into swimming suits, grabbing beach toys), we sat on our beach-house porch and applied our sunblock. After Eli finished what he could reach, he asked me to do his back. For some reason, Eli always has a bruise– typically on his arm or leg. Yesterday, he had one on his back. This is so frequent, it didn’t even register with me to ask him about it. I noted it was there, and I applied the sunblock right over it.

Later, playing in the surf, Susan noticed the blemish and, being the more responsible parent, asked Eli about it. But Susan didn’t think it was a bruise. “Jesus Eli, you have a massive bug bite on your back!” This is when I took a closer look.

In my corner of Pennsylvania, we live in fear of Lyme Disease. We’re rural. Ticks are everywhere. Deer are everywhere. Primarily our concern with Lyme Disease is that we’ll get it and not realize it. Lyme Disease is treatable, but the longer you wait, the less effective the treatment is. And all sorts of nasty things can happen like joint pain, autoimmune disease and chronic fatigue. And the only way to know you’ve gotten Lyme Disease (with the exception of a blood test) is to look for the tell-tale bulls-eye rash around a couple-day-old tick bite.

Have you ever seen a deer tick? These bastards are so small that you can look right at them and mistake them for a freckle. I’m certain we all get tick bites on a regular basis. Really, I’m more on the lookout for Lyme Disease symptoms than the Lyme Disease bulls-eye. Spotting one seems to be a hit or miss proposition.

biteEli’s bug bite, on closer inspection, was pretty awesome. About an inch and a half across, and then a light halo another half inch outside of that. As soon as I saw it, and by this I mean really looked at it, I was sure he had Lyme Disease.

The doctor at Urgent Care wasn’t convinced. But we were in central Florida not central Pennsylvania. And as he pointed out, it isn’t a perfect representation of a Lyme Disease bulls-eye.

Regardless, erring on the side of caution, he gave Eli a Lyme Disease diagnosis, and Eli starts his three weeks of Amoxicillin tomorrow. And you get two quotes on insect-borne diseases. As global warming and global trade and growing populations continue unabated, we will learn about new diseases on a somewhat regular basis.

On Lyme Disease
“I know that my late diagnosis means I am in this for years, perhaps even for life.”
— Kenneth Singleton, Author, The Lyme Disease Solution

On Zika
“Things like this tend not to go away, cases may go up and down, but it’s not just going to go away.
— Dr. Anthony Fauci, Director of the U.S. National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Disease

As for the third rule, nominating three more bloggers, I’m going to pass on this one. I’m going to break the chain. When I was a kid, chain-letters were popular. You got a (hand-written) letter in the (postal) mail, and you were supposed to copy it and send it to ten friends. If you took the time to do this, you would have good luck always. If you blew it off, if you broke the chain, your life would be a hopeless mess of mishap and pain. I once got a chain-letter. My intention was to keep it going, but my laziness got the better of me, and I never sent my letters out. I can’t guess how many nights I spent lying awake in bed worrying about the horrible ills that would soon befall me.

I can’t do this to anyone else.

7 thoughts on “Emerging insect-borne infectious diseases.

  1. I used to keep this picture of a gravestone that read “died from not forwarding that chain letter.” Cracked me up 🙂 Anyway – whoa, yeah! Lyme’s – it’s awful in my area as well. Here’s hoping all is well with Eli!

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Lyme’s is bad. As a forester in Alabama, I know several in my profession who suffer long-term effects because they had the misfortune to contract it before doctors knew how to diagnose it.

    Much worse is the new tick disease — “Alpha Gal.” It causes an extreme reaction to red meat. I have a close friend who was diagnosed with it a year ago. He has suffered extreme weight loss and has to be very careful with his diet.

    It too is spreading…

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Thanks for talking about this topic. It’s a big problem, but also a local one. I used to live in Pennsylvania, and my good friend’s sister got full-blown Lyme Disease. It’s a lot worse than I thought. I live in Denver now and we have our own insect-borne disease starting with Colorado tick fever.

    Liked by 1 person

    • It’s becoming apparent to me that this is just stuff we need to live with at this point. My brother lived in Rhode Island for years, and everyone there has gotten Lyme Disease multiple times. Just one of the complexities of modern life… This is a terrible blog post. Would prefer that you would read something better.


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