Sunday, April 18, 2010

Connecticut: Land of ticks

Connecticut is home to roadside diners, tag sales and ticks.
And by ticks, I mean blood-sucking bugs, not nervous twitches. Although the former can cause the latter if you see one of the nasty creatures.
A tick bit my son last week. Already we’ve brushed off three ticks this spring. And that’s just from running around in the backyard, not hiking through tall weeds and brush.
The tick that bit my son was a small one that hitched a ride on his clothes and latched onto his upper chest in the middle of the night. We found it the next morning. It was digging under his skin, but hadn’t started sucking blood from what I could tell.
His doctor told me that a tick that’s been on for less than 24 hours has practically zero chance of transmitting Lyme disease, the big concern with tick bites here. After 48 hours there’s an 8% chance of transmitting Lyme disease. After 96 hours, it rises to 70%, the doctor said.
Lyme disease is named after the village of Lyme, Conn., where a number of cases were identified in 1975, according to Wikipedia.
Laurie Cantillo wrote a good article for the New Canaan Patch about the tick problem in New Canaan, Conn., where I live.
If you want to be thoroughly grossed out, check out the tick photos at eMedicineHealth.com, a unit of WebMD. (The photo above is from the website.)

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