Tis the season for hantavirus, tick fevers

Forget the manufactured scare about tapeworms, it’s time to be alert for real disease dangers if you are outdoors-

I got my first tick the other day while hiking the foothills in the Deep Creeks SW of Pocatello. Despite numerous forays this year, I haven’t seen many ticks — luck? Nevertheless, this is the time of year when ticks are most active, and the number of cases of Lyme Disease from the small deer tick is a silent epidemic in its expanding range. Fortunately, there are few infected deer ticks so far in the interior West. In Idaho the much larger Rocky Mountain wood tick is much more common. Every year they transmit Rocky Mountain spotted fever, tularemia, and Colorado tick fever.

This is also the time when hantavirus cases peak as people clean out their cabins, second homes, and outbuildings where deer mice have spent the winter. The mortality rate of this disease is high.

Risk of Lyme, other tick-borne disease peaks in spring. Daily Herald.

Nationwide now, mosquitoes carry West Nile Virus, and, of course, they are often most fierce in late June, depending on the elevation. The percentage of mosquitoes that are infected rises throughout the summer, however. So a bite is more cause to worry in August than in June. I wear long shirts and netting a lot more than I used to.

Bad news for outdoors lovers: West Nile mutates in a bad way

The West Nile virus menace has now spread across most of North America, but it abates with frost and hot and dry weather that kills the virus-spreading mosquitoes.

Now it has mutated to be able to better withstand hot weather.

All diseases have their politics, as we have seen with brucellosis, AIDS, avian flu, MRSA, e. coli food contamination, etc.

The failure to develop a vaccine is another failure of the Bush Administration. In fact, the absence of any effort by the President to deal with this menace as it spread was the first clue to me that the weapons of mass destruction argument about Iraq was phoney because the sudden invasion of New York City by the virus by a viral agent given to Saddam Hussein back when he was the Reagan and Bush I Administration’s buddy in the fight against Iran, was the best candidate for a biological warfare attack, aside from the obvious anthrax attack in 2001.

Northern America May Suffer New West Nile Outbreaks. RedOrbit.