(PRWEB) June 26, 2014
On July 9th, 1864, the Battle of Monocacy was won by over 15,000 Confederate troops fighting against approximately 6,000 Union troops outside of Frederick, Maryland. Some of these troops may have been wearing body armor to protect themselves from bullets. This armor was very heavy and extremely uncomfortable to wear in hot weather. One hundred fifty years later, the thousands of Civil War reenactors that will descend on the same battlefields won’t need this armor during reenactments. However in 2014, they’ll need a different kind of protection.
These people will camp out, cook together, and reenact battles and other Civil War events. The hidden, unseen danger on the battlefield will show up as twice as many black legged ticks that are being detected along the eastern United States. These ticks are notorious for carrying Lyme disease and many other infections.
According to Tuft’s Professor Sam Telford, the large amount of snow this winter acts like a blanket to protect ticks. Plus the wet spring kept ticks from drying out. The University of Rhode Island Tick Encounter Center has also issued a high alert for the entire Northeast Mid-Atlantic Region based on data from tick tracking surveyors.
June and July are peak season for the tiny, hard to see nymph tick which are believed to be the main vector for transmitting Lyme disease. These months are also when many reenactment events are scheduled. These minuscule ticks can be the size of a comma “,” which can look like a piece of dirt, a scab, or a freckle on the body. According to tick analyses at Clongen Labs in Rockville, MD, these ticks can carry over sixty different germs, called co-infections, besides Lyme disease.
According to the CDC, only 10% of the people infected with Lyme disease are accurately diagnosed. This may be due to the fact that only a portion of people who are infected ever get a bulls-eye rash. Misdiagnoses may occur because a person’s symptoms can vary widely from joint pain, flu-like symptoms, fatigue, memory problems, dizziness, or anxiety. These can be misdiagnosed as different illnesses besides Lyme. Also, some people need several weeks after the tick bite to produce enough antibodies to get a positive western blot test for Lyme.
In 2013, there were 1194 cases of Lyme disease reported. According to CDC estimates, actual cases in Maryland are approximately 11,000 for last year. What can reenactors and their families do to protect themselves? They need to apply chemical or natural repellents and pesticides for deer ticks. Permethrin is a pesticide that can be applied to clothing, tents, and the ground to kill ticks. Safer’s Insecticide Soap is also an effective tick killer. Repellents containing DEET, Picardin, and IR3535 can be applied to the skin. Natural repellents can also help to keep ticks away.
Cedar essential oil is very effective at killing ticks. Natural repellents using lemon eucalyptus, citronella, geranium, and peppermint oils are also effective protection. Daily tick checks can help to prevent attachment. Tucking pants into socks helps to prevent ticks from crawling inside legs. Instead of body armor, Reenactors should use tick pesticides and wear tick protection this year to dodge the bullet of Lyme disease.
If you'd like more information on protection against ticks and natural treatments for Lyme disease and co-infections, or to schedule an interview with Greg Lee at 301/228-3764 or e-mail Greg at the above e-mail.