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Tick borne diseases are spreading fast

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Everything you need to know about staving off tick-borne diseases -- which are seriously awful and can cause permanent brain damage and even death -- in one rapid read.

Ticks are so full of NOPE. 

Ticks aren’t just gross (though gross they sure are). They’re dangerous. Every year we see more ticks spreading more nasty diseases, many of which are difficult to diagnose and treat. This is my plea: Take ticks seriously and consider doing more to keep you and your kids safe from them, because what you’ve been doing may not be enough.

Let’s start with some facts. Ticks in the U.S. can spread more than 14 diseases. They are “the most significant vectors of infectious diseases in the United States,” according to a write-up from a recent scientific conference. Research suggests that where I live, in the lower Hudson Valley in New York, more than half of adult-stage blacklegged ticks harbor the bacterium that causes Lyme disease. (It’s also carried by one-fifth of nymphal-stage blacklegged ticks—the tiny ones that are hard to see and therefore often go unnoticed for days.) Another one in five adult blacklegged ticks in the region is infected with the bacterium that causes anaplasmosis; one in 30 harbors the potentially deadly deer tick virus; and another one in 30 can pass along the parasite that causes babesiosis. And yes: Ticks can and do often harbor multiple pathogens, so that’s fun too.

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