Hypochondriacs beware. The Rocky Mountain spotted fever and lyme disease caused by ticks is nothing to take lightly—especially in the dry season when ticks are most prominent, even more so due to global warming.
Rocky Mountain spotted fever, which was first identified in the Rocky Mountains, is caused by the bacteria Rickettsia rickettsii, when an infected tick comes in contact with humans. The ticks affected by the bacteria include the American dog tick, the lone-star tick, and the wood tick, all of which like to live in wooded areas and tall, grassy fields.
Similarly, Lyme disease is named after the place it was discovered in Lyme, Connecticut in 1975. It is caused by a cork-screw like bacterium called Borrelia burgdorferi. The black-legged ticks are usually the ones that spread the disease. Like its progressive corkscrew shaped bacterium, ticks are affected by feeding off small animals with the disease. These animals usually include mice, chipmunks, and other wild rodents. When the infected tick attaches to a person or animal and stays attached long enough (usually more than 36 hours) to take a “blood meal” it has further passed on the infection.