Reports show deer tick diseases in Canada are on the rise. Most people only associate Lyme disease with deer ticks. However, deer ticks can carry multiple bacteria simultaneously, infecting humans and leading to debilitating diseases.
How Humans Contract Deer Tick Diseases
Deer ticks are tiny but can significantly impact a person’s life. They only live two to three years, with four life stages, some of which are when humans contract deer tick diseases.
- Stage 1 – In the first life stage, female deer ticks leave the animal or human they are on to lay eggs. They typically lay thousands of eggs in leaves on the ground. The female then dies. This first stage is often called the egg stage, and when hatched, the ticks have six legs.
- Stage 2 – The second stage is the larvae stage. The tiny ticks climb leaves and grass to get closer to small animals, like squirrels, rabbits, birds, mice, or rats. Once on an animal, they find a way to get into its bloodstream and feed for a week or longer. After feeding, they drop back down to the ground and begin molting.
- Stage 3 – The third stage is called the nymph stage. Here the larvae molt into the eight-legged deer tick. They again find a host to feed on, such as a rabbit, bird, mole, raccoon, or deer. While feeding, the deer tick contracts bacteria in the animal’s blood. During this stage, deer ticks acquire Lyme bacteria, Borrelia burgdorferi, and other coinfections. During the nymph stage, deer ticks can transmit bacteria to humans. If a tick acquires Lyme bacteria on one host, it can leave that host for another before dropping off. The second host could be a human. This is the stage in which most Lyme diseases are given to humans.
- Stage 4 – In the final stage, the adult stage, a tick will attach to a host, which could be a human. Mating happens during this stage. Males die after fertilizing the female, which feeds on the host’s blood for up to a week, then drops to the ground, lays eggs, and dies.
Which Disease Are Transmitted in Each Stage?
In the larva stage, deer ticks can transmit hard tick relapsing fever, Borrelia Hard tick relapsing fever, and Borrelia miyamotoi. The risk of encountering deer ticks in this stage can begin as early as April and end in the Fall. The highest risk is during August.
Nymph encounters occur most in May through July and put you at risk for contracting the following diseases:
- Deer tick virus
- Hard tick relapsing fever
- Borrelia miyamotoi
- Lyme disease
- Powassan virus
The adult female deer ticks are associated with the deer tick virus, hard tick relapsing fever, human anaplasmosis, human Babesiosis, Lyme disease, and Powassan virus. The highest adult deer tick activity occurs in April, May, October, and November.
Anytime the temperatures are above freezing, tics can be active.
Symptoms of Deer Tick Diseases
The bacteria that cause Lyme disease create similar physical and psychological symptoms as the bacteria associated with coinfections transmitted by deer ticks. While each person will experience different symptoms based on how long they have gone untreated and their symptom severity, there are common initial symptoms to look for, including the following:
- Muscle aches
- Sore throat
- Swollen lymph nodes
- Inflamed and sore joints
Untreated Symptoms of Deer Tick Diseases
The longer your symptoms go undiagnosed or misdiagnosed, the worse they become. Also, new and different symptoms may start to appear with each coinfection. For example, Babesiosis may cause you to have darker urine, jaundice, and mild splenomegaly. Lyme disease can produce facial paralysis, anxiety, depression, and brain fog.
If you have chronic anaplasmosis, you may experience bleeding problems and respiratory failure. The Powassan virus can lead to seizures, encephalitis, meningitis, and lack of coordination.
Treatments for Deer Tick Diseases
Because each disease occurs when bacteria infect your bloodstream, the first line of treatment will be antibiotics. For some, antibiotics will work great, and in a few weeks, symptoms will subside. Antibiotics work best when infections are caught in the early stages.
Antibiotics are typically the only line of treatment offered by general practitioners. Therefore, you must seek help from a doctor specializing in infectious diseases, even if that means searching outside Canada and the United States. Specialists have the most advanced knowledge and equipment to treat deer tick diseases.
Below are examples of modern treatment methods for Lyme disease, Babesiosis, and all the other coinfections.
- Therapeutic apheresis
Apheresis is a process of exchanging infected blood with healthy, donated blood. Specialists can analyze your blood using a microscope and lab tests to determine which parts of the blood should be exchanged. For some, it is plasma, and for others, blood cells.
The body’s natural method of eliminating infections is to increase the internal temperature or fever that destroys bacteria. If you’ve had a deer tick disease for a long time, the body’s immune system doesn’t work correctly and can’t always create a fever. A specialist in deer tick diseases can induce a fever in a safe and controlled manner. Hyperthermia is a method that mimics fever to help your immune system do its job.
- Detox protocols
Lifestyle changes must happen to overcome deer tick diseases. Your specialist can create a special diet that includes the vitamins and minerals necessary to eliminate bacteria from your system.
- IV Therapies
Oral antibiotics must pass through the digestive system, which degrades due to stomach acids. Once it reaches your bloodstream, you receive only a portion of the medicine. Specialists administer antibiotics intravenously, so the medication goes directly into your bloodstream. They can also administer vitamins and minerals through an IV, so you get the most benefits.
Getting the right help is something you deserve. Think outside your geographical area and seek the best doctors, not the closest ones. Give yourself the gift of meeting with an infectious diseases specialist, like the ones at Lyme Mexico.