Registered: 1156877376 Posts: 2,324
Reply with quote #1
I like to hike outdoors, but there are potential problems.
1. First, the type of mosquito that carries Zika cannot live above 6500 feet---this according to the CDC. Unfortunately, there aren't too many places that are that high. 2. I was hoping that elevation might discourage the ticks that spread Lyme disease, dengue, etc. The experimental outcomes didn't find that elevation was the critical issue. Oddly, there isn't much Lyme spread in the South, even though temperatures and humidities are higher, because the species of tick that lives there doesn't ordinarily perch on plants and bushes----but lives under leaves on the ground because of the superior moisture there. Strange, but the South has largely been spared the Lyme and similar diseases (unless you start rolling around in the leaves, as maybe a dog or cat might). 3. The critical factor for tick survival in the North is apparently humidity----the ticks can only survive a few days of mid range to low humidity north of the Mason Dixon line----but can survive more than a month at higher humidity. I guess this threat isn't going away anytime soon---no testing for the magnitude of the threat specifically in California in this study. I suppose it ought to be good news since our humidity right now is in the 30s. (Although, since none of the testing was performed in California, maybe you can't infer anything.) Actually, 95% of all Lyme disease occurs in only 14 midwestern and eastern (all north of the Mason Dixon line) states. https://www.cdc.gov/lyme/stats/index.html. So maybe our low humidity has something to do with that (although apparently there are places in Northern California that have lyme, even if they don't have an especially high frequency, compared with other states). Lyme disease has been found in 56 of 58 California counties, but the higher infection rates are all counties North of the Bay Area. https://www.usgs.gov/news/it-s-heat-and-humidity-new-study-finds-why-lyme-disease-common-north-rare-south