While birding this past Saturday I brushed off three wood ticks that got onto me in the field, and when I got home I pulled off one nymph deer tick that had embedded itself in my leg. While I'm a big fan of strange and unusual creatures, I have to admit that these little critters give me the willies--and worse. A couple years ago I got a Lyme disease infection from a deer tick bite. I'll be watching the site of this latest bite to see if it shows sign of an infection, and will probably get a blood test done later this year just to make sure there isn't an undetected infection.
A new movie is just out discussing the controversy around the diagnosis and treatment of chronic Lyme disease. Under Our Skin is well worth watching or even showing in your community. Be careful when you are out there birding. It is often tempting to go crashing through the brush in the quest to see more birds. But that is exactly where the ticks are. Take proper precautions out there, and especially do a good tick check when you come in from the field and get medical attention if you are bit or find signs of a tick-borne disease!
Neil Hayward Gunning for ABA Big Year Record
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