The Concerned Citizens of Montauk had to keep adding extra chairs for all the people that jammed the room at their annual meeting at the Montauk firehouse. The capacity crowd was caused by two factors. First, the membership of this highly-effective conservation group is now over one thousand. Second, this year’s meeting covered a subject that affects many people on the East End — ticks.
That common experience was reflected in the knowing nods of the audience as they watched the presentations on seemingly everything there is to know about ticks and how to avoid or deal with them and their diseases. Joseph J. Burrascano, Jr., medical doctor and rock star in the field of treating Lyme Disease, gave a presentation on history, symptoms, and treatments of diseases ticks carry. Executive Director of CCOM, Jeremy Samuelson, gave a talk about ticks and the environment and how to keep them away.
It seemed for many there to be like drinking through a firehose. Notes were taken and many questions asked.
Some of the many startling facts presented:
- It is estimated that 80-100% of the ticks on the East End are infected with Lyme.
- The more severe and long-term the infection a person has, the less likely a standard Lyme test will show positive.
- The CDC still has doctors treating Lyme as an inflammation, rather than an infection.
- Mice carry as much, if not more, deer ticks to the home than deer.
So much information was presented, there was no time for the many personal stories that were no doubt there in the audience. Joy Ganss-Brady, Chair of the East End Lyme Disease Awareness Campaign, briefly thanked Dr. Burrascano for getting her out of a wheelchair and back to health. Jay Levine, CCOM’s Vice-President wisely kept the business part of the meeting short to make room for the presentations.
For those who couldn’t be there but wanted to be, here are some links recommended at the meeting.