Another reason to abandon the suburbs in favor of the city?

If you’ve been on the fence regarding whether to give up the car-dependent lifestyle and move back to the city… “Lyme Disease Cases Are Exploding. And It’s Only Going to Get Worse.”:

Since 1992, the Cary Institute [Millbrook, NY] has been compiling a record of tick ecology that they believe to be the longest continuous study of this kind in the U.S. and possibly the world. … The process for counting ticks not affixed to hosts is called a drag — the researchers pull a one-square-meter sheet of fabric along the ground for 30 meters then tally the number of ticks affixed to it. Oggenfuss holds the Cary Institute record for ticks collected in a single drag: 1,700. As horrifying as that haul was — and it would, by extrapolation, put the tick population on the Cary Institute’s 2,000-acre campus at 2 billion — Oggenfuss is quick to note it was exceptional, and tick density is irregular. Her more conservative calculations of average tick populations, based on drags done during the same time of year (August, the larval peak), are only reassuring by comparison: upward of 20,000 ticks per acre, more than 100,000 on the Henry Control grid, and more than 40 million on the Cary Institute grounds.

Here’s the bottom line for American humans: “It’s estimated that 300,000 people contract Lyme every year in the U.S., with victims found not just in traditionally tick-heavy areas like upstate New York and Maine, but also in all 50 states and Washington, D.C.”

We dug our own Lyme-infested graves by burning fossil fuels:

Human-driven climate change is making tick season longer and tick country larger. As winters get warmer and shorter, ticks become dormant later in the year (if at all should it fail to fall below freezing) and active earlier.

But the disease started in Connecticut, which is much cooler than the southern U.S. Climate change is so powerful that it is spreading ticks and Lyme disease both north and south:

When Aucott joined Johns Hopkins in 1996, Lyme disease had been a mounting concern for a number of years, but conventional wisdom held that the illness would not spread south of the Potomac River. However, he soon began seeing case referrals from first northern then southern Virginia. Lyme is now endemic in North Carolina and has moved westward to Tennessee, Kentucky, and Ohio.

How about escaping both state income tax and Lyme disease by moving to Las Vegas (check Nevada family law first; the state takes a completely different approach to custody and child support compared to the typical winner-take-all U.S. state)?

That very scenario is playing out on the U.S.-Mexico border in Mexicali, where a particular clade of brown dog tick has caused a massive outbreak of Rocky Mountain spotted fever, which can be fatal in up to 30% of cases and causes more deaths than any other tick-borne disease in North America. … While ticks need moisture to survive, the common brown dog tick requires far less than most. This particular clade takes that to the extreme, suggesting its spread could be hastened by climate change. “This tick needs it hot and it needs it dry. This tick is rooting for global warming and drought,” Foley says. As places like California and Arizona become hotter and drier, the tick’s reach will expand, she says. To compound matters, research has shown that the hotter the temperature, the more aggressive this tick becomes. “You can actually do experiments and bring the temperature up and increase the bite rate of that tick,” Foley says.

How about simply live in the city? It would be tough to get bitten by a tick in Midtown Manhattan.


5 thoughts on “Another reason to abandon the suburbs in favor of the city?

  1. This guy has an interesting theory. Eat a ton of salt and vitamin C:

    “Our theory is that due to the decreased consumption of salt in our daily diets, we have allowed the invasion of parasites into our bodies and those of our pets and livestock. Over the centuries, man has traditionally consumed approximately 20 grams of salt daily. The only time, other than current day, that man’s consumption has drastically decreased was during the Medieval Ages, when the landlords deprived the poor of salt, and the Black Death ravaged the population. Salt is an ancient bactericide, and killer of many of man’s pathogens. For centuries, twenty grams of salt daily was the average intake due to the way meats were cured and foods were preserved. Man certainly lived a more outdoorsman’s lifestyle, yet there was no mysterious illness. Was it the presence of sodium chloride in his body that prevented Lyme from occurring? Lyme was first documented in the 1970’s. It is around the same time we were inundated with the “No Salt Diet” craze. For years Japan had no cases of Lyme disease, and only recently with the new low salt soy sauce have cases been documented. As far as our animals go, cows were always given large blocks of salt licks, which were pure sodium chloride. The old ways protected our livestock from many pathogens that are coming into focus in today’s society. Just recently, these blocks have become mineralized salt licks with minerals, medicines, and vitamins, that manufacturers claim is what our livestock need. They actually need the sodium chloride. This may explain the recent appearance of new illnesses such as Lyme, Mad Cow, and other parasitic illnesses among our livestock. They crave the sodium chloride. It is a natural instinct. Just the same way that a hunter knows that if he puts out a block of salt, the deer will come. Bear reportedly tear the bark off fallen trees to lick salt. There are salt caves in Africa that draw herds of elephants at night, and the mothers break off chucks of salt and fed it to their young. Maybe it is time we take a lesson from the animals. Eat more salt!”

  2. I find it fascinating when I see studies like those, especially when such studies call out for action to save lives and make a huge deal out of the issue to warn the public. Why? Such topics like Lyme disease, shark attacks, food poisoning, etc. make the news every day and become the “issue” of the week if not month and the public is outraged about them demanding an immediate action by our government. However, the media, researchers and the public seem to be less interested in looking at far more relevant issues that we face today and/or will severely impact the quality of live for the uninformed public for years to come.

    For example, there are more people die a day (or even an hour) from car accident, public transpiration, work place, et. al. There are more people become less fortunate or fall back in life every day due to government regulations (past and present), family missteps, et. al. I can site more examples like this but you got the idea. We seem to brush away real, larger issues — maybe because those real issues are more complex and the public cannot understand or deal with them and thus why they are not covered? If so, than our government, the media and researches are no different to make such topics a front page priority.

  3. Let me try to give you a different perspective, George. Virtually all of the people diagnosed with Lyme still have it, because modern American bodies are too weak to fight it off without literally years of combination antibiotics. The CDC suggests that 300,000 Americans are diagnosed with Lyme every year. Multiply that by 20 years and you get 6 million Americans with Lyme, and since Lyme is notoriously difficult to diagnose that number is probably much higher. Then realize that there are hundreds of chronic infections: chlamydia pneumoniae, candida, toxoplasmosis, etc. So practically every American over age 30 is loaded with parasites of some sort. And unlike someone who dies quickly in a car crash, we are all dying slowly with brain fog and low energy. How do you think a tired, enervated person votes? It’s not for a free market!

    In my personal opinion, the miserable physical condition of the average American due to malnutrition (vitamins and minerals, obviously, not calories), RF pollution, chronic infections, toxic chemicals, and so on is the single biggest problem we face today.

  4. How many people have died in the USA during the last years from Lyme desease? Infos about the age distribution would be appreciated.

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