Microsoft word - insect transmitted inctory disease and woodland.doc
INSECT TRANSMITTED INFECTIOUS DISEASE AND WOODLAND Woodland consists of many large wooded areas, habitat for ticks carrying the bacterium of Lyme disease and stagnant small pools of water located in trees, the breeding pools for mosquitoes carrying the virus of La Crosse encephalitis. Our wetlands provide the perfect breeding marshes for mosquitoes carrying the virus of West Nile Fever/Meningitis. Dave Neitzel, epidemiologist with the MN Department of Health division of Infectious Disease, suggested the following; Tick born Lyme disease During the 15 year period (1996-2010) 10,821 confirmed cases were reported. The population of the deer tick or bear tick (Ixodes scapularis, the black legged tick) is increasing in Minnesota east of the Mississippi River and starting to invade Hennepin County in measurable quantities. If the tick is infected with spirochet, Borrelia burgdorferi, and attached to the skin for 24-48 hours, inoculation with ensuing Lyme disease for humans and animals (including dogs) can result. Fortunately not all ticks are infected with the bacterium. Signs and symptoms include: the “bull in eye” rash (a red ring with central clearing), fever, chills, muscle and joint pain, fatigue and headache. If a person has one or several of these signs or symptoms, 3 to 30 days after a tick bite or spending time in infested woodlands, medical attention should be sought. If left untreated, further development includes: facial paralysis, weakness and joint pain with arthritis (particularly the knees). Fortunately, antibiotic treatment (e.g. Doxacycline), if early in the course, can eradicate the bacteria with reversal of the signs and symptoms. Bottom line for Lyme disease Screen yourself, children and dogs after being out in the woods. The ticks are about ¼ inch in size and can be removed by gentle slow pulling with tweezers. Topical application of DEET (30-35%) or permethrin are repellants-partially deterrent. Permethrin when sprayed on fabrics (cloths) can be toxic to the ticks. Both chemicals, in application form, are available in many pharmacies and camping stores. MOSQUITO BORN (TREE HOLD MOSQUITO) VIRAL LA CROSSE ENCEPHALITIS-LAC According to Dave Neitzel, Woodland is a “hotspot” for this mosquito carried virus. The mosquito breeds in shallow stagnant pools found in abandoned tires, small pools, shallow ornamental pools and pools formed in depressions/crotches/knot-holes of hard wood trees.
This is a viral disease with no specific cure (3-13 cases in Minnesota each year centered around the Lake Minnetonka area). Symptoms follow the bite by an inoculated mosquito in 1-3 days include: fever, headache, malaise and general joint pain. At this stage medical attention is recommended. The course can progress to include: vomiting, seizures and a comatose state. Children and debilitated adults are the most susceptible. Fortunately the mosquito is not a good long-range flyer and is not found beyond marshes and wetlands. Bottom Line for Viral La Crosse Encephalitis-LAC The only cure is prevention. Removal of abandoned containers of water and frequent flushing of decorative pools and birdbaths (twice weekly) can lessen the residents’ risk to this form of encephalitis. Mosquito born West Nile Viral Fever/Meningitis/Encephalitis-WNF The virus is transmitted by the mosquito (Culex tarsalis) after biting infected humans, horses and birds. Most people (80%) infected with the virus show either no symptoms or flu-like symptoms including: a mild rash, fever and aches. 20% of these infected hosts progress to meningitis and/or encephalitis, generally children or the debilitated elderly. Medical attention is recommended when symptoms of vomiting, headache, high fever and mental confusion occur. Bottom Line for West Nile Viral Fever-WNF The only cure is robust health and prevention. Liberal application of repellants e.g. DEET 30-35% and/or Picaridin, total body coverage with light colored clothes and avoidance of dusk and dawn excursions into the woods during the most active time of the year (mid July to mid September) can decrease the exposure and incidence of bites. These chemicals, in application form, are available in most pharmacies and camping stores. Remember, a repellant only repels, it does not kill mosquitoes. Hennepin County does treat wetlands (by helicopter) to decrease the mosquito population. For more information and answers to questions contact: www.health.state.mn.us www.mayoclinic.com Mn Department of Health, Division of Infectious Disease (651)201-5414. Woodland’s Medical Officer, Bruce Shilling, MD Woodland City Council, James Doak, Mayor
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