Beyond the Data — Emerging Tickborne Diseases


[MUSIC] [Thorpe] Welcome
to Beyond The Data. I’m Dr. Phoebe Thorpe and here with me today is Dr. Bobbi
Pritt from the Mayo Clinic. Thank you so much
for joining us. [Pritt]Thank you for having me. [Thorpe] Our session today
is about tick-borne diseases. We heard a lot of good
information about, about tick-borne diseases. Can you share some
of the highlights that you think people should
know about tick-borne diseases? [Pritt] Sure, absolutely. Well I think first
it’s important to know that human biting ticks
are found in many parts of the United States
and they can transmit through their bite a number of
bacteria, viruses and parasites. So one of the most important
messages I have for people is to know what ticks are in
your area and what diseases and then know what the mayor
symptoms of those diseases are so they can keep a
watch out for them. The CDC has some excellent
information including some maps that shows the distribution of
the major human biting ticks and the diseases they carry. So that’s a good resource. The other thing that
I think is important for the general public is
that if they’re feeling ill and they go to their
doctor, they should mention that if they’ve had
a recent thick bite, because that’s important
and the physician can use that information to help
determine what’s causing their illness. [Thorpe] And so if, these tick-borne diseases
they’re carried by ticks so avoiding ticks is important. [Pritt] It’s pretty important. Right, yeah. [Thorpe] So, what can people do
to avoid being bitten by ticks? [Pritt] Yeah, that’s
a great question because prevention is key. So at Mayo Clinic we
developed the ABC’s of tick bite prevention. So it’s pretty straight forward. “A” is avoid. We want to avoid the areas
where ticks are found which is in tall grasses, in bushes, leaf
litter and the ticks can’t fly but they can climb up
on vegetation and grab on to you when you walk by. So something simple just like
when you’re in the middle of a path avoiding the edges
where the tall grasses are, that could help prevent
tick exposure. So that’s “A”. Now “B” is bug spray. When you’re going to be outside,
you are in some situations going to be exposed to ticks. You can’t help it
but you want to be out in the great outdoors so,
picking some simple measures like using bug spray
specifically a product that has 20% to 30% DEET. You can also use a
product with Picaridin, you can spray Permethrin
directly on your clothing and that takes me to
C, which is clothing. So if is no too hot and you can
stand it, wearing long sleeves, wearing long pants, that will
provide less opportunity, less skin for the ticks
to attach and bite. Now, all of these are great
measures but when you come in from outside, it’s really
important to do that tick check. Check yourself, check
your family and check your pets as well. [Thorpe] Yeah, that
and other things and showering is another
thing that I had heard. [Pritt] Showering’s really
good because you’re more likely to see ticks and catch them
if they’re in your scalp or other parts of your body you
may forget to check otherwise. [Thorpe] Yeah. And then, what should you do
if you find a tick on you? [Pritt] Yeah, good question. So don’t panic, that’s
probably one of the first things but you want to remove it
as quickly as possible. So the best way to do that
is using fine tick tweezers and if these are the tweezers
if you have a tick on you, you basically want to get as
close to the skin as possible, grasp firmly and
then just pull it out in a smooth continuous
motion. You don’t want to
twist, you don’t want to squeeze the tick cause that
may cause it to regurgitate some of its stomach contents
into your skin and that may transmit diseases. You also want to avoid
folklore remedies like putting petroleum jelly
on the tick or burning the tick with a match or a lighter because that could
actually damage your skin, damage the tick and maybe
even increase the likelihood of getting infection. [Thorpe] And then, if they find
the tick should they bring it into their doctor? Are there any recommendations
about that? [Pritt] Yeah, you can. Depending in what area of
the country you live in, if Lyme diseases is
prevalent and present in a large amount then if
the tick has been attached for 36 hours or more,
and you can tell that by how swollen it is, how
gorged then it is a good idea to take the tick, bring
it to your doctor. In some situations your doctor
may prescribe antibiotics to prevent Lyme disease. [Thorpe] Ok, so just
depends on… [Pritt] It depends
on where you are. It never hurts to put
the tick in a Ziploc bag and you can just hold on
to it in case you need it. [Thorpe] In the session
today we there was a reminder about treating with
starting Digoxin immediately if you suspect Rocky
Mount spotted fever. What are some of
the other things that provide health care
provider should keep in mind if they are treating somebody with a tick-borne
disease or suspect one? [Pritt] Sure well, probably
an important thing to know is that there can be co-infections so the patient may not be
infected with just one thing but may have two organisms
and have two infections. So when ordering tests and considering whether the
patient needs treatment, the physician needs to think
of what that patient may have. It may not just be Lyme
disease but it may also, the patient may have
Anaplasmosis or Ehrlichiosis there’s
different Borealis species there are some viruses too. [Thorpe] And all of those
need to be, you need to… [Pritt] Consider
it a differential. Exactly. [Thorpe] And
then, we also heard some about public health
efforts that are being done. Can you tell us a little bit
about the public health efforts that are being done for
tick-borne diseases? [Pritt] Well I think the public
health plays such a key role in providing education
to the public but also to the physicians that
are seeing the patients and to the nurses and the other
members of the healthcare team. So we all need to
work together as part of a multidisciplinary
team so that we have all of the right information,
treatment algorithms, testing and we are all familiar with what diseases are
circulating in our areas. [Thorpe] And I know CDC
recently updated their treatment guidelines for tick-borne
diseases. [Pritt] That’s a great resource. I always refer patients there
if they want more information. [Thorpe] And then you mentioned
the maps that are available for telling people where the
diseases are I bet that’s helpful too. [Pritt] Extremely. [Dr. Phoebe Thorpe] Yeah, okay. Well thank you very
much for joining us. [Pritt] Well, thank you
[Thorpe] And thank you for joining us for
Beyond the Data. See you next time. [Music]


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