More Record Breaking Summer Heat With New Diseases, Part 3

posted by Jael Ever @ 10:00 AM
July 13, 2011

Americans should take heat waves seriously. They must remember the 2003 heat wave that swept through Europe, killing more than 14,000 people in France, and leaving $ 18 billion in losses to European agriculture.  They should also remember the blistering 2010 heat attack in Russia that killed over 15,000 persons.  The same can happen here.  CBS Philly reports that “. . . over the past twenty-five years, there have been about 5000 heat-related deaths in the United States.  The greatest problems occur when the temperature rises above 95 degrees.”  In addition, the 2006 Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report,  concludes that between 1999 and 2003, there were 3,442 heat-related deaths in this country.

 These figures indicate that this nation’s safety nets may not always be strong enough.  One way this blog hopes to prevent heat deaths is providing information on killers that come along with the heat, such as tick-borne diseases.  The last two tick-born diseases discussed in this series are Ehrichiosis and Anaplasmosis.  Both attack white blood cells.  The symptoms of Ehrichiosis are the same as listed for other tick-borne diseases, but may include diarrhea and malaise.  If not treated, this disease can lead to: kidney, lung or other organ damage; seizures; comas, and in rare cases, death.  In contrast, Anaplasmosis can lead to death.  Coughing, confusion and disorientation are symptoms in addition to other indicators of tick-borne diseases.  The usual treatment is the antibiotic doxycycline.

 The Illinois Department of Health has an excellent list for the prevention of tick borne diseases.  It includes: 1) Wear light-colored protective clothing-long-sleeved shirts, long trousers, boots or sturdy shoes, with a head covering, tucking trouser cuffs into socks and taping areas where pants and socks meet; 2) Following label directions, apply insect repellant containing DEET, and/or permethrin, primarily to clothes, and sparingly to exposed skin, except the face, making sure to wash treated skin after coming indoors; 3) Check all family members every two or three hours for tricks, and check pets as well;  4) Walk in the center of trails so weeds do not brush against anyone;  5) Remove a tick promptly with tweezers, a clean cloth or tissue, not by using bare hands, or burning with matches or covering with vaseline;  6) Wash the bite area and your hands thoroughly with soap and water, and apply an antiseptic to the bite; 7) Always make sure the area around your home is unattractive to ticks, by keeping grass mowed and weeds cut.

 The plagues attacking Egypt, in Exodus, chapters 8 to 11, progressed in degradation from bad to worse, with each one leaving impregnating markings towards death.  Surely, many of those dying in the last plague may have done so because of bites from the millions of insects that attacked Egypt earlier. The Book of Revelation indicates that the same plagues will overcome people in these last days of sweltering heat and diseased insects walking through the earth (11: 6).

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