Tick Borne Diseases


4ticks_cmTicks are most active in spring and summer and can be found in grass, leaves, wooded areas, and branches.  They crawl up a blade of grass or sit on the edge of brush or leaves with their front legs extended, waiting for a passing host.  Once on you, they find a soft feeding surface, cut the skin, imbed their feeding tubes and suck blood for several days if unnoticed.  CDC – Tick Life Cycle and Hosts – Ticks.  Not all ticks carry disease and not everyone with a tick borne disease finds a tick on themselves. If you find a tick imbedded use fine tip tweezers and grasp the tick as close to the skin as possible.  Pull upward with steady pressure until the tick is removed.  Wash the area and your hands with soap and water or alcohol.  Currently, if you are a resident, you can go on TickReport – Tick Testing Services for Lyme Disease and tick-borne diseases and fill out a form to have the tick tested for bacteria and a report sent to you free of charge.  There are pre-paid envelopes available in the Public Health Nursing Office in the Human Services Building.

Symptoms of tick borne diseases may include malaise, headache, fever, joint pain, muscle pain, chills, and nausea and vomiting. For Lyme disease there may be a bullseye rash.              tick-bite

Tickborne disease we most frequently see on Cape Cod are: Anaplasmosis Home | Anaplasmosis | CDC, Babesiosis CDC – Babesiosis, and Lyme diseaseCDC – Lyme Disease Home Page. Other tick borne diseases that have been recently documented in New England are Borrelia miyamotoi, CDC – B.Miyamotoi – Ticks and STARI CDC – Southern Tick Associated Rash Illness.

If you have any of the above symptoms and especially if you have found a tick on yourself and are feeling ill call you doctor. There are antibiotics, which when taken as prescribed, can kill the bacteria.



There have been measles outbreaks in California, Washington, Ohio, and New York 1150_loresrecently and the state and local public health offices as well as the Centers for Disease Control  are concerned.

Measles is a highly contagious respiratory virus which can be spread to others 4 days before to 4 days after a rash develops.  It is transmitted by droplets when someone who has the disease coughs or sneezes.   The virus can remain suspended in the air for 2 hours even after an infected person leaves the area.

Symptoms typically develop 10-12 days after being in contact with the virus (with a range of 7-21 days) and include:   fever; cough; red, water eyes; runny nose; and white spots inside the mouth.  Three to five days later a rash begins on the face and hairline, spreading to the trunk, arms, legs and feet.   

About 30% of measles cases have complications ranging from pneumonia, ear infections and diarrhea.  About 1 child in every 1000 with measles will develop an inflammation of the brain.  There are 2.2 deaths for every 1000 people who get measles.

Fortunately, there is a vaccine which can prevent measles, the MMR vaccine.  The first shot is given at age 12-15 months and the second before the child begins school at ages 4-6 years.  Reactions are minimal and include fever and a mild rash.  Vaccines: VPD-VAC/Measles/FAQ Disease & Vaccine.