Insect Hazards Hunt the Hunter
Not long ago the only
insect hazards hunters in the U.S. needed to be aware of was the Rocky
Mountain Spotted Fever Tick. Now there are two new life threatening insect
hazards to consider. The tiny Deer Tick can carry Lyme disease and there are
over sixty species of mosquitoes that can become infected with West Nile
Disease. Ignoring these insect hunters can result in grave consequences for years. You
may be able to see the insects but you can not see the bugs they might carry,
therefore is best to know a little about them and how
to protect ourselves from the tiny human hunters.
Rocky Mountain Spotted
RMSF is caused by a
species of bacteria that is spread to humans by hard tick insects. Initial signs
and symptoms of the disease include sudden onset of fever, headache, and muscle
pain, followed by development of rash. The disease can be difficult to diagnose
in the early stages, and without prompt and appropriate treatment it can be
Lyme disease bacteria are
spread by another insect hazard, the tiny black legged deer tick. Ticks feed on blood,
and infected ticks transmit the disease as they feed. When people visit or live
near deer tick habitats, they run a high risk of contracting Lyme disease. For
your own safety, you should become familiar with the insect’s habits and
habitats, and you should learn how to prevent tick bites.
Typical symptoms include an initial skin
rash around the insect bite, then fever, headache and fatigue. If left
untreated, infection can spread to joints, the heart, and the nervous system.
After the rash around the insect bite goes away Lyme
disease may be hard to diagnose or may be misdiagnosed if not positively
diagnosed before this rash disappears. After the rash disappears the disease
goes internal causing a lot of physical pain and money from trying to find out
what is wrong. If you don’t remember a tick insect bite in the past and talk
your doctor into a lab screen they will most likely be looking for other causes
instead of Lyme. Once properly diagnosed most cases of Lyme disease can
be treated successfully with a few weeks of antibiotics.
The insects that transmit Lyme disease can
occasionally transmit other tick-borne diseases as well. An insect bite is no
longer an incident to take lightly.
West Nile Virus:
West Nile Virus insect hazard is a virus commonly found in
Africa, West Asia, and the Middle East. It is closely related to St. Louis
encephalitis virus which is also found in the United States. The virus can
infect humans, birds, mosquitoes, horses and some other mammals.
The most severe type of disease due to a
person being infected with West Nile virus after an insect bite affects a
person’s nervous system including the brain and spinal areas.
West Nile Fever is another type of illness
that can occur in people who become infected with the virus. It is characterized
by fever, headache, tiredness, aches and sometimes rash. Although the illness
can be as short as a few days, even healthy people have been sick for several
weeks and some have died.
Hunting and other outdoors activities put
you at risk for these diseases and
steps to abate these insect hazards
should be pursued aggressively with insect repellents and
Some commercial insect repellents are not
always as safe as is generally thought and care should always be taken to
use insect repellents