Ticks and Lyme Disease: Reduce Your Risk and Increase Your Awareness

Public Events
Tuesday, May 28, 2019 7:00 pm


Steve Diers, retired Ranger and naturalist of 39 years, has done research and presentations on ticks and Lyme starting in the 1990's for the public, a number of agencies and at the State & National Trails conferences. He has assisted California State Vector Control Biologists to collect ticks in a portion of Calaveras County for research purposes. Starting in the 1990s, he would offer advice to individuals who had been bitten by ticks or developed Lyme symptoms. Steve strongly believes that education is the most important way to reduce your risk and increase your awareness of tick-borne diseases.

Infected black-legged (deer) ticks and individuals suffering from Lyme are found in 30 countries worldwide, all 50 states in the US, and 42 of the 58 counties of California and in every park on the San Francisco Peninsula. In 2017, 427,430 Americans were infected with Lyme disease. This is 1.3 times as many as the number of American women who contracted breast cancer and 11 times as many as Americans that contracted HIV the same year. However, federal funding of Lyme disease has been meager. For example Lyme disease receives less than 1% of the federal funding allotted to HIV/AIDS by the National Institute of Health (NIH). Many Lyme patients suffer needlessly for years, and are shuffled through the health care system as they look for answers while enduring the skepticism of practitioners; disabled and suffering long-term consequences of misdiagnoses.

SteveDyersAfter an individual is bitten by an infected black-legged tick they have six months before they develop chronic Lyme disease. To the best of my knowledge I was bitten in 1995 by infected western blacklegged nymphal tick while working on trails as a Ranger/Naturalist for EBMUD on the Pardee/Camanche Watershed. I did not develop the "bullseye" rash (which only occurs in 38% of the cases). I was told I had chronic fatigue, after seeing my Kaiser doctor for headache, neck aches, pain in my large joints, short term memory loss, night sweats,heart palpitations, G.I. system problems and urinary tract problems, disorientation and sleep disorders.

Photo: Antibiotic medication being self-administered by Steve in 1998 for advanced late stage Lyme disease through a Peripherally Inserted Central Catheter (PICC line) in his arm.

Admission is free

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