Government researchers may have experimented with ticks for use as biological weapons. Here’s why the insects can be so dangerous.
- The U.S. House of Representatives voted last week to investigate whether the Defense Department experimented with using insects as biological weapons, and if this research contributed to the rise of Lyme disease and other bug-borne illnesses.
- Evidence suggests researchers at Pentagon facilities between 1950 and 1970 may have infected insects to learn more about how they carry disease, and whether they could be weaponized.
- Ticks and other biting bugs carry many diseases that can be deadly to humans. including Lyme disease and other viruses and bacteria. Here are some of the most dangerous.
The Pentagon is investigating reports that U.S. Defense Department researchers conducted experiments on disease-carrying insects from 1950 to 1970 to develop biological evidence. Members of the House of Representatives ordered the investigation after a new book suggested that military research may have contributed to the spread of Lyme disease via the release of weaponized ticks, according to Roll Call.
New Jersey Rep. Chris Smith, who led the call for the investigation, said tick-related illnesses have been “exploding” in the U.S., CNN reported.
Being bitten by a tick can put you at risk of life-threatening illness including Lyme disease, but also babesiosis parasites, ehrlichiosis, anaplasmosis, and Rocky Mountain spotted fever. Here are some of the most common.
Lyme disease is the fastest-growing bug-borne illness in the nation
About 300,000 Americans each year report cases of Lyme disease, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, and the number of actual cases that go unreported could be 8 to 10 times higher.
Caused by Borrelia bacteria, Lyme disease can give you a fever, rash, muscle aches, and fatigue. In severe cases, it can cause nerve pain and damage, facial paralysis, and inflammation of the brain and spinal cord. It is recognizable by a distinct “bull’s eye” rash, a red spot on the skin surrounded by a red ring.
Ticks also spread microscopic parasites that attack your red blood cells
Babesia microti are spread by young ticks that are usually about the size of a poppy seed. The parasites themselves aren’t visible and go after red blood cells, causing anemia and flu-like symptoms. Many people infected, however, don’t have symptoms and don’t need treatment, according to the CDC. Babesiosis can be severe or deadly for older people or others who have weakened immune systems.
Ehrlichiosis and anaplasmosis cause headaches, nausea, confusion and, if left untreated, death
Caused by a variety of bacteria carried by ticks, ehrlichiosis is another flu-like illness, with symptoms like muscle aches, fever, chills, headache, and upset stomach. It also occasionally causes a rash, but any symptoms typically don’t start until one to two weeks after exposure to infected ticks, the CDC says.
Ehrlichiosis can be treated with antibiotics, but left alone it can cause serious and potentially deadly symptoms like respiratory failure, brain damage, and uncontrolled bleeding.
Anaplasmosis, although spread by a different bacteria, can have similar consequences and is also treatable with antibiotics.
Symptoms of Rocky Mountain spotted fever include a rash, stomach pain, and loss of appetite
Despite its name, Rocky Mountain spotted fever is a bacterial infection that can be spread by several species of ticks throughout the U.S. Although difficult to distinguish from other tick-borne ailments, it can be recognized by a fever coinciding with a rash a few days later. It can also cause vomiting, stomach cramps, muscle pain, and loss of appetite.
Severe cases can permanently damage the blood vessels in the fingers, toes, arms, and legs, sometimes requiring amputation. Like most of the illnesses on this list, Rocky Mountain spotted fever can be treated with antibiotics.
The link stating that a single tick bite can lead to 6 different diseases isn’t accurate. The count is somewhere around 18 and counting diseases: https://madisonarealymesupportgroup.com/2017/07/01/one-tick-bite-could-put-you-at-risk-for-at-least-6-different-diseases/ While it’s true that certain ticks carry certain diseases, the numbers are growing. Ticks are also known to co-feed which could multiply diseases. More and more ticks are found where they shouldn’t be, carrying things they shouldn’t have. Prudence would err on the side of caution. It’s just not worth the risk.
For more on the bioweaponization aspect: https://madisonarealymesupportgroup.com/2019/07/19/biological-warfare-experiment-on-american-citizens-results-in-spreading-pandemic/
https://madisonarealymesupportgroup.com/2015/08/12/connecting-dots-mycoplasma/ Mycoplasma has been bioweaponized and Dr. Garth Nicolson writes about it in his book, “Project Daylily.” Nicolson states the #1 coinfection with Lyme is Mycoplasma.
Tularemia, brucellosis, Q-fever, and typhus are all diseases spread by ticks that have been bioweaponized:
https://madisonarealymesupportgroup.com/2018/08/19/monster-ticks-found-in-germany-threaten-europe-with-deadly-disease-crimean-congo-fever/ In this article, they found a tropical form of tick typhus in tropical ticks found in Germany. Typhus is making a comeback, particularly in the southern U.S. Migrating birds are transporting ticks as well as the diseases they carry worldwide.