May 11th, 2015

NMTC Science Café: People, Ticks, and Lyme Disease

Deer tickI was chatting with a patron recently about an investigative report on how little is spent on Lyme disease prevention and research.

This is an important topic to me as I have been treated for Lyme disease after finding the bull’s eye bite plus the flu-like symptoms and severe headache. When I started to search for facts about Lyme disease, I found some eye opening information.

Ron Hamlen, PhD., Vice-chair, Lyme Disease Association of Southeastern PA, Inc., sent me some information compiled by Dr. Daniel Cameron, a researcher and expert on tick-borne diseases.

Here a few quick facts about the seriousness of Lyme disease:

 

– Ticks have been around for 15,000,000 years and the first case was described 5300 years ago.

– CDC reports 300,000 new cases/year, that’s 822 cases/week

– It is the fastest growing disease over HIV, Breast Cancer, Hepatitis and Colon Cancer

– Research funding is only $21 million compared to Hepatitis ($200 million), Colon Cancer ($288 million), Breast Cancer ($674 million) and HIV (3005 Million)

– The Elisa test used is only 35-50% accurate, the disease is usually misdiagnosed because it exhibits symptoms similar to other diseases. Fewer than 50% people remember being bitten by a tick or even noticing a rash.

– 40% of Lyme patients end up with long-term health problems. If left untreated, 60% patients have arthritis with severe joint pain and swelling

– Some Lyme disease patients are as disabled as people with Congestive Heart Failure and have as much pain as post-operative patients

If you want to learn about Lyme disease, come to our NMTC Science Café: People, Ticks and Lyme Disease with Ron Hamlen, PhD, Lyme Disease Assoc. of Southeastern PA. We will have an informal discussion led by Dr. Hamlen, May 19, 7:00 pm at the Elkton Central Library.
If you can’t come to the program but are still interested in this topic, go to NIH, MDHM or CDC (as per links below)

Did you know dogs can contract Lyme disease, too?


Tags: , , , ,


March 9th, 2015

Think Spring – What’s all the Buzz About?

vegetable-621782_640Last summer a friend gave me a delicious tomato from her garden that was a gorgeous metallic green color with red stripes. When I went to the grocery store, however, I couldn’t find the flavorful varieties with unique names like the one my friend gave me.

We’re deep into cold weather but I have spring on my mind, so I used the resources at my library to do a little research. Did you know that in addition to books and magazines about gardening and horticulture, CCPL has online resources on their website both an “Agriculture Collection” as well as “Gardening, Landscape and Horticulture”? I had access to hundreds of publications! I learned that most grocery store tomatoes, especially during cold months, are shipped in trucks from California and Florida. Definitely not local or home-grown!

Curious, I did a little more research and learned that heirloom tomatoes are open-pollinated (natural pollination, via insects or wind) and their seeds reproduce true to the plant they came from. I also learned that there is an overwhelming variety of heirloom tomatoes to choose from.

After a little more reading about available heirloom varieties, I plan to choose a few to plant this year.  I’m also interested in using more local produce than what I find at the grocery store. In addition to checking out a bunch of cookbooks to get ideas, I plan to attend “Eating Local: Community Supported Agriculture” on March 12 at the Rising Sun Branch, where I’ll get to chat with local farmers.

I’ve encouraged my gardening friends to attend the “Homesteading 101” program at the Chesapeake City Branch Library on March 23, led by Shane Brill, an urban homesteader. Mr. Brill will discuss raising bees and chickens and how to preserve fruits and vegetables.

The weather outside may be frightful, but the tomatoes I plan to grow I’m sure will be delightful!

Last summer a friend gave me a delicious tomato from her garden that was a gorgeous metallic green color with red stripes. When I went to the grocery store, however, I couldn’t find the flavorful varieties with unique names like the one my friend gave me.

We’re deep into cold weather but I have spring on my mind, so I used the resources at my library to do a little research. Did you know that in addition to books and magazines about gardening and horticulture, CCPL has online resources on their website both an “Agriculture Collection” as well as “Gardening, Landscape and Horticulture?” I had access to hundreds of publications! I learned that most grocery store tomatoes, especially during cold months, are shipped in trucks from California and Florida. Definitely not local or home-grown!

Curious, I did a little more research and learned that heirloom tomatoes are open-pollinated (natural pollination, via insects or wind) and their seeds reproduce true to the plant they came from. I also learned that there is an overwhelming variety of heirloom tomatoes to choose from.

After a little more reading about available heirloom varieties, I plan to choose a few to plant this year. I’m also interested in using more local produce than what I find at the grocery store. In addition to checking out a bunch of cookbooks to get ideas, I plan to attend “Eating Local: Community Supported Agriculture” on March 12 at the Rising Sun Branch, where I’ll get to chat with local farmers.

I’ve encouraged my gardening friends to attend the “Homesteading 101” program at the Chesapeake City Branch Library on March 23, led by Shane Brill, an urban homesteader. Mr. Brill will discuss raising bees and chickens and how to preserve fruits and vegetables.

The weather outside may be frightful, but the tomatoes I plan to grow I’m sure will be delightful!

What kind of garden are you planning?


Tags: , ,