Letter: Beware of ticks in fall leaves

Graphic by Lori Deaton

Everyone in the Asheville area and beyond should take caution in raking leaves. Ticks love them and breed in them overnight because of moisture. You can’t see many of them; they are as small as a poppy seed on a bagel.

Lyme disease is quickly becoming a dangerous nightmare. The tests are still unreliable. I am getting many calls from desperate people. Their doctors still tell them they don’t have Lyme disease and send them to a psychiatrist. This is one of the reasons we have so much violence. It makes an infection in the brain that leads to drug addiction and suicide.

If you see a tick attached to you, send it to be tested so you know what infection was in it and now possibly in you. It can kill you. It costs $25,000 a year to treat it, as insurance doesn’t pay for it, and many uninformed doctors will tell you there is no Lyme disease in North Carolina. That is not the truth.

Now that the military and their families are getting so sick from this, finally, the Defense Department is giving a lot of money to find a good test. They gave Brandon Jutras of Virginia Tech’s Fralin Life Sciences Institute $1.2 million to find an accurate test. MIT, Mount Sinai’s Cohen Center for Recovery from Complex Chronic Illness, Tufts Lyme Disease Initiative, Yale Center for Infection & Immunity and others are now receiving grants.

If you have to rake leaves, put your clothes in the washer immediately after and get in the shower.

— Jan Dooley


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