Ticks carrying multiple diseases are ‘taking over’ Long Island

Lyme disease isn’t the only awful illness ticks are capable of transmitting.

Superticks can carry up to four different diseases at a time, including Lyme disease. And these insects of mass destruction are becoming especially abundant in Long Island, according to a study published this month in the journal mBio.

“They’ve kind of taken over,” co-author Rafal Tokarz tells The Post.

It means that one bite could potentially give a person Lyme disease as well as illnesses such as potentially life-threatening babesiosis and anaplasmosis. A quarter of the ticks examined in the study had the ability to transmit more than one disease.

“Most people think of Lyme disease when they think of [tick-borne illnesses], and that’s justified, but in Suffolk County alone, ticks can carry four other pathogens,” says Tokarz, an assistant professor of epidemiology at the Center for Infection and Immunity at Columbia’s Mailman School of Public Health.

“Very often, we find sometimes two, even three, of these pathogens [in the same tick],” he says.

He and his fellow researchers are also growing increasingly worried about the Lone Star tick, a species whose saliva can cause an allergic reaction to meat. The tick has migrated in recent years from the southern part of the United States up to Long Island and New England.

One woman in Missouri developed the allergy after a tick bite four years ago — and only just learned it was due to the Lone Star tick.

“It got to the point where my stomach would swell up; I was vomiting,” Kristie Downen said. “The rashes were real bad. It was getting to the point [I told doctors], ‘You’re missing something — I’m still dying.’ ”

There’s currently no treatment for the meat allergy the Lone Star tick can cause, Tokarz says. But, he adds, doctors now need to start testing people who were recently bitten for multiple tick-borne diseases.

“This tick, in particular, has become very troublesome,” Tokarz says. “Thirty, 40 years ago, you hardly ever found them on Long Island. Now they’ve become extremely abundant.”



The number of diseases currently transmitted by ticks is 20 and counting. This article states it’s 16 within the U.S. but these numbers are continually influx with new pathogens continually being discovered:


For the first time, Garg et al. show a 85% probability for multiple infections including not only tick-borne pathogens but also opportunistic microbes such as EBV and other viruses.

“Our findings recognize that microbial infections in patients suffering from TBDs do not follow the one microbe, one disease Germ Theory as 65% of the TBD patients produce immune responses to various microbes.”

The poly microbial issue isn’t even on the radar of most doctors, and this is why the CDC recommendation of 21 days of doxycycline is an absolute farce.

According to this review, 83% of all commercial tests focus only on Lyme (borrelia), despite the fact most of us are infected with more than one microbe.  The review also states it takes 11 different visits to 11 different doctors, utilizing 11 different tests to be properly diagnosed.

When will things change?



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