To the Editor:
Thank you for the excellent article on deer management in Fairfax County (“A Time to Hunt?” - Connection, February 18-24, 2015). One deer can carry 1,000 ticks, and approximately 25 percent of ticks in our county carry an infectious agent. In addition to borrelia burgdorferi, the tick can carry babesiosis, bartonella, and other pathogens. Current methods of testing humans for such diseases are unreliable, resulting in possibly thousands of undiagnosed patients in our county. Nationwide, 300,000 new cases of Lyme disease were estimated by the CDC last year, a 10-fold increase over prior estimates. As a former Lyme sufferer, support group leader and current patient advocate, I see the devastation these diseases cause to our residents. From bedridden children to suicidal teens to failed marriages and economic ruin, these diseases take a toll on more than just one's car and garden.
I appreciate all the county is doing to reduce the number of deer in our yard!