March 2016

Lyme Disease Facts

2-22-16z1 The following info was submitted to me by a morel hunter in Indianola, IA -Mike Monohon. His wife contracted the disease and eventually passed away because of it. I guess I have been very lucky over the years. I was always told as long as you found and removed the tick within 48 hours that you could not contract the disease. This obviously is bad information. Let’s have a great 2016 Morel Mushroom season, but take some precautions as well! -Chris M

Mike Monohon writes:
There are few experiences more rewarding than coming out of the timber with a bounty of morel mushrooms in tow, but please be aware that there may be (and usually) is an unwanted tick accompanying you as well. I don’t know where they hide, but even after a thorough check one of these pesky hitchhikers seem to magically show up.

In the past, I never gave it a second thought other than to remove the little fella and go on with my day. Those thoughts went away on an April day in 2010 here in Central Iowa. After removing a tick nymph that had been stuck on my wife for no longer than 24 hours, an immediate 50-cent piece sized red area appeared. A nymph is pictured below on the right.

Had we known, the antibiotic doxycycline is the best immediate treatment. Take this pill (with food) for two weeks and you shouldn’t contract the illness. I now keep a bottle of it at home. We actually had gone to our doctor so he could look at the site on her back, and he mentioned doxycycline, but he didn’t prescribe it! Two weeks later, the spirochetes had traveled into her central nervous system (spine) and she exhibited all sorts of symptoms: fast heart rate, inability to walk or speak correctly, joint pain, maddening itching. The list goes on.

My wife contracted Lyme disease in the spring of 2010, and passed away in March of 2015 from the effects. I still will continue to hit the timber every spring, but better equipped with Permethrin that is sprayed on my mushroom clothes. It seems to work. My concern is that the established medical community still denies that there is a chronic Lyme disease epidemic happening in our country, yet my veterinarian says his office treats horses, cattle, dogs and cats every year for Lyme. For all of my fellow hunters, please be aware of this deadly virus that is everywhere in our country.

For more information go to the American Lyme Disease Foundation @

What is Lyme disease?
Lyme disease is an infection caused by being bitten by an infected tick. The first and typical symptom is usually a rash that spreads out from the site of the tick bite. Left untreated, the germs (bacteria) can spread to other areas of the body.
Is lyme disease curable in humans?
If diagnosed in the early stages, Lyme disease can be cured with antibiotics. Without treatment, complications involving the joints, heart, and nervous system can occur. But these symptoms are still treatable and curable.

What type of bacteria is Borrelia burgdorferi?
Borrelia burgdorferi is a bacterial species of the spirochete class of the genus Borrelia. B. burgdorferi exists in North America and Europe and is the predominant causative agent of Lyme disease. Borrelia species are considered diderm (double-membrane) bacteria rather than gram positive or negative.

Is Lyme disease an infectious disease?
Lyme disease, or borreliosis, is caused by the bacterium Borrelia burgdorferi and is transmitted to humans through the bite of an infected blacklegged deer tick. It is the most common tickborne infectious disease in the United States.

  1. More than 200,000 US cases per year.2-22-16z4
  2. Treatable by a medical professional.
  3. Spreads by animals or insects.
  4. Requires a medical diagnosis.
  5. Lab tests or imaging often required.
  6. Deer ticks can carry the bacteria that causes Lyme disease.
  7. Lyme disease causes a rash, often in a bull’s-eye pattern, and flu-like symptoms.
  8. Joint pain and weakness in the limbs also can occur.
  9. Most people with Lyme disease recover completely with appropriate antibiotic treatment.
  10. For those who develop syndromes after their infection is treated, pain medications may provide symptomatic relief.


Additional Information:

One thought on “March 2016

  1. Thank you, Chris, for posting this very important information. Just to let you know how easy it is to contract this disease, one of my beloved boston terriers contracted it. She has never been in the woods, or out of my fenced backyard. She received medical attention and is doing fine, but if she can contract it from a subdivision backyard think how easy it is to get it from being out in the woods.

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