Lyme Disease | BrainerdDispatch.com | Brainerd, Minnesota

Lyme Disease

Posted: January 18, 2013 - 10:36pm

Deer ticks and lyme

On Jan. 21, 2012 the Star Tribune published an article entitled, “Warm Winters Bring Invested Springs – Pesky Ticks Like Warm Winters Too.”

A key fact we learned from last year include a quote from David Neitzel, epidemiologist at the Minnesota Department of Health, saying: ”If enough ticks are able to find suitable conditions, they will survive from year to year, and their populations expand.” Mr. Neitzel added, “Just as warm weather can keep ticks alive, heavy snow falls can protect them from harshly cold temperatures.”

This is the contradiction. Unusually warm weather such as we experienced last winter, and so far this winter, will mean that even moderate to heavy amounts of snowfall will melt quickly. Melting snow works to the benefit of tick proliferation, due to the fact that ticks require wet conditions to survive.

Perhaps the northern Minnesota climate in the balance of the 2013 winter season will regress back to that of past winters, with deep snow and bitterly cold temperatures. As of today, however, Wednesday, Jan. 9, the sun shone all day. The temperature started out at 28 degrees, and by afternoon reached 39 degrees. Snow melted wherever the sun was shining. Thursday’s temperature reached 43 degrees. Friday, the temperature at 5a.m. was 36 degrees and raining.

If these mild winters persist, we can be assured of another significant tick infestation starting in the next two to three months. It is therefore important that people be continually made aware of the eminent dangers of lyme disease.

I highly recommend that anyone who is reading this letter should obtain a copy of a DVD call “Under Our Skin.” Order a copy for $35.95 by emailing: Debbie@openeyepictures.com. Or Open Eye Pictures: Sausalito, Calif., or call 415-332-3266.

It will help to make you and your family aware of the devastating consequences of lyme disease, and the simple steps people can take to prevent incurrence or recurrence.

Robert O. Uppgaard, DDS

Pequot Lakes