Celebrating the Spirit and News of Monument Mountain

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Ticked Off with Dr. Walsh

Year of the tick

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Dr. Walsh busy with patients.

Matt Walsh, Maroon Tribune Doctor

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During a single-period walk through the woods outside the B-Wing, students in Monument’s People and Their Environment class found as many as six ticks crawling on their bodies. According to local medical officials, the tick population is predicted to be very high this year.  

 

Last Wednesday when the P&E class ventured outside, Ryan McCarthy, a senior,  was spotted with three ticks on each of his legs. “I looked over at Ryan and from five feet away I could see little black bugs crawling on him. It was gross,” stated Tyler Harrington. However, Ryan was not the only student who encountered this problem. Among the other victims were Matthew Weston, John Young, and Zach Tinker. Ticks often burrow in the warmest parts of the body– the genitals, under the armpits and in the scalp. “The tick I found on myself was on my scrotum,” Young added.

 

If not dealt with properly, tick-born illnesses can be deadly. Although Lyme Disease is the most well known, it is not the only disease that can be transmitted from ticks and it is certainly not the most dangerous. Ehrlichia can be equally as dangerous as Lyme’s, and the symptoms are often  harder to spot. When a tick infects a human with Lyme Disease, a bullseye rash will form around the bite. This one symptom is a dead giveaway. However, with Ehrlichia there isn’t one classic symptom to look for. Often times this disease is misdiagnosed as the flu because the symptoms–fever, headache, nausea– are so similar.
The best way to avoid getting a tick bite is to take precautions to avoid them. Due to the fear factor surrounding ticks, there are now tick sprays available for purchase at most stores. My personal medical recommendation is Off! Deep Woods. This spray will do the trick because it contains a high concentration of DEET. Other preventions include tucking your pants into your socks which doesn’t allow the ticks to crawl up under your pants and up your legs. This can be very helpful when hiking through tall grass with a lot of bugs. Ticks are attracted to dark colors, so wearing white clothes in the woods will drastically reduce the amount of ticks that make it onto clothing. If a tick does make it onto your clothing, it will be easier to spot if you’re wearing white. As summer approaches, all outdoor enthusiasts should keep in the mind the fact that a bug the size of a pinhead can severely alter your quality of life if the proper precautions are not taken.

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Celebrating the Spirit and News of Monument Mountain
Ticked Off with Dr. Walsh