Let me set the scene. The auction is tomorrow. My load of backgrounded steers have reached 750 – 900 lbs. It is hot today and and the steers are going to be lying in the shade along the creek. I consider the Spanish Needles, Beggar’s Lice, Cockleburs, Multi-flora Rose and the other “non-stickery” brush that I may be going through to drive the steers out of the brush. I dress appropriately. I may have failed to consider something else important. I get back in the house later in the day and find I have multiple ticks crawling and stuck in places I can’t see and can barely reach.
I grew up used to the concept of one of the common-place hazards of working outdoors. Ticks. I usually considered the possibility of tick bites starting about April or May every year. I didn’t change any of my actions other than to look myself over for ticks when I came into the house. I would find one crawling fairly often while out in the field or especially working calves in brush, under trees, or along the creek. Finding one “stuck” was just an accepted occasional occurrence. No longer.
“Upon the recent discovery of the presence of Powassan virus in ticks in the Hudson Valley, New York’s senior Senator is calling on the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) to immediately allocate resources towards the study, prevention and treatment of the emerging Powassan virus threat.” “http://www.theglobaldispatch.com/chuck-schumer-calls-on-the-cdc-to-increase-research-on-powassan-virus-other-tick-borne-diseases-75167/
Tick borne diseases are becoming much more prevalent. There is nothing like finding I have gotten into a nest of “seed ticks” and they are crawling everywhere. It may not be a “manly” thing to say but “IIICCKKKKK!”. Lyme disease, Rocky Mountain Tick Fever, Ehrlichiosis, and eight other diseases are mentioned on this GREAT page on the CDC (Center for Disease Control) website. “http://www.cdc.gov/ticks/diseases/” . This website has excellent links to prevention and treatment for tick bites. An ounce of prevention is way worth more than a pound of cure, here. These diseases are not a matter to be taken lightly. They can be anything from a severely debilitating LIFELONG problem to a FATAL problem if left un-diagnosed and un-treated.
What is the bottom line here? Do I not get the steers out of the brush? Do I cower in the house, afraid to even go out in the yard? I probably have stock dogs that go out in the pasture and may carry ticks back to the house even if I don’t. Get serious. I have work to do and there are more dangerous hazards to farming than ticks. I DO need to take the threat seriously, just like I take equipment safety seriously. I Do need to take sensible precautions. I need to check myself for ticks. I would be happy to check you for ticks. After all, I already mentioned places I can’t see and can barely reach.
Here’s the song. “http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3tiPndMqxLQ”