San Andreas, CA — Park Ranger Steve Diers has tangled with cougars, wild pigs and rattlesnakes, but the biggest danger lurking in the outdoors, he says, is the smallest one.
Diers has been a ranger for 31 years and now works for East Bay Municipal Utilities District.
According to Diers, of the 48 tick species in California, nine can carry Lyme disease. Of those, it´s the Black legged nymphal ticks that account for most Lyme disease transmission.
Diers says he receives calls every year from people that have been bitten and don‘t know what to do. Diers too has been bitten and was diagnosed with Chronic Disseminated Lyme disease. His wife Stephanie is disabled from Chronic Lyme disease, for which she was misdiagnosed.
According to the Centers for Disease Control, typical symptoms include fever, headache, fatigue and a skin rash. Early treatment is key. If left untreated, infection can spread to the joints, the heart and the nervous system.
The CDC says ticks thrive in humid, wooded areas but die quickly in sunny, dry environments. It says to prevent the disease, use insect repellent, remove ticks promptly, and control ticks around your home by using pesticides and landscaping techniques.
Diers also encourages people to dress appropriately when outdoors by wearing tucked in long pants, a hat and light colored clothing to easily spot ticks.
For more information, visit the CDC´s website.
Written by Vanessa Turner.