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OUSU condemns Home Secretary’s ‘Send Home’ proposal

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first_imgOUSU has released an official statement condemning the Home Secretary Theresa May’s recent calls for non-EU international students to be sent home following the conclusion of their studies.The statement, which is signed by OUSU President Louis Trup and OUSU Vice President for Graduates Yasser Bhatti, explains that the proposals would not, “help the government’s immigration caps or the companies wishing to make use of top graduates”.It goes on to add that, “We believe that international students should be made to feel welcome in the UK, and this attempt to pander to immigration scaremongerers serves no purpose, except to further alienate international students from the British educational community and reduce the potential for them to contribute to the UK economy”.The proposals, put forward this week, are designed to help the government “move towards zero net student migration” in the coming years. If put in place, non-EU students would have to return to their home countries before applying for permission to work in the UK.Trup also took to Twitter to refer to the plans as a “silly idea”.Check this statement from me and @OUSU_Grads about Theresa May’s silly idea: http://t.co/qsvpe8VChD— Louis ‘OUSU’ Trup (@OUSU_Pres) December 22, 2014One Oxford student told Cherwell “I’m fully behind OUSU on this one. May’s ideas just don’t stand up to any sort of logic. Everyone’s set to lose out if this goes through.”Meanwhile, Anu Oyefesobi, a third-year classicist from the United States, commented, “It’s absolutely ridiculous, especially considering the amount of money international students bring to the UK economy every year. If the Conservatives feel immigration is an issue, cracking down on highly skilled migrants really is not the way to fix anything. “Even in the US, where plenty of Republicans are always all about stopping immigration, no one ever attempts to stem the influx of educated immigrants. If anything, it’s been a recent worry that the US doesn’t attract enough. Also, the UK really needs them, considering the fact that something like 20 per cent of NHS doctors aren’t even British. So good luck with that if she succeeds.”Arnav Chaube, a first-year Maths student from India, highlighted the potential financial problems with the proposal. “I‘m paying much more for education in the UK than an average UK student (about £22,700 for tuition annually),” he pointed out, “and much more than that I would pay in India. So if I were to go and work in India after graduation, I would earn an average Indian salary, which is significantly lower due to cheaper living expenses etc., making it impossible for me to pay back my loans.”Conservative sources, however, have since attempted to justify the move. “Making sure immigrants leave Britain at the end of their visa is as important a part of running a fair and efficient immigration system as controlling who comes here in the first place,” one party official claimed in The Sunday Times.OUSU’s statement follows the Vice-Chancellor’s remarks in October criticising the government’s position towards international students. Professor Andrew Hamilton had said that visa controls would be “harmful” and “hostile to student entry”.last_img read more

March Madness 2019: Terance Mann hits incredible game winner to lift Florida State over Virginia Tech

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first_imgTerance Mann kept No. 12 Florida State alive in the ACC Tournament.With the game tied and less than five seconds to play in overtime Thursday, the senior guard hit an incredible runner to give his team a 65-63 victory over No. 16 Virginia Tech at the Spectrum Center in Charlotte, N.C. Seminoles freshman Devin Vassell, however, sunk a 3-pointer to force the extra period. March Madness 2019 bubble watch: Florida keeps at-large hopes alive; NC State misses big chance DEVIN VASSELL FOR THE TIE pic.twitter.com/u3ot84UAjJ— Ben Pfeifer (@Ben_Pfeifer_) March 14, 2019Mann finished with 10 points while Vassell added a team-high 14 off the bench.Florida State will face top-seeded Virginia in the ACC Tournament semifinals Friday. Terance [the] MANN! @FSUHoops pic.twitter.com/eC7K38Xloq— NCAA March Madness (@marchmadness) March 14, 2019Here’s another angle of the shot: Senior Terance Mann ladies and gentlemen. Seminoles lead 65-63 with one second left. pic.twitter.com/t92Jqa62nh— Chaunte’l Powell (@chauntelpowell) March 14, 2019Florida State appeared on its way to a win in regulation when it took a five-point lead with less than seven minutes remaining in the second half. But, Virginia Tech rallied and swung the scoreboard back in its favor on back-to-back baskets by Kerry Blackshear Jr. in the closing moments. Related Newslast_img read more

Wizards tab Tommy Sheppard as GM, add Sashi Brown to front office

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first_imgTed Leonsis got his hockey championship when the Capitals won the Stanley Cup in 2018. Now he’s reorganizing his basketball operations department in an effort to get the Wizards to the same point. Leonsis on Monday announced the formation of Monumental Basketball, a new collective with oversight of not only the Wizards but also the WNBA’s Mystics, the G League’s Capital City Go-Go, and the Wizards District Gaming esports operation.  While the Wizards haven’t been nearly that hapless, mediocrity has been the rule since Leonsis, a former AOL executive, took control in June 2010 (he has owned the Capitals since 1999). The Wizards have missed the playoffs in five of the nine seasons since, but did finish first in the Southeast Division in 2016-17 before falling to the Celtics in the second round of the playoffs. Washington went 32-50 last season, losing star guard John Wall to an Achilles injury in late December and seeing marquee free-agent addition Dwight Howard play in only nine games due to back troubles. Wall characterized the news Monday as “a good day” for the organization and welcomed “all of the Monument Basketball leaders.”Today was a good day for #DCFamily. Congrats to our new GM and welcome to all of the Monumental Basketball leaders— John Wall (@JohnWall) July 22, 2019 Bobby Portis thinks Knicks can make playoffs next season: ‘We’re loaded at every position’ NBA free agency 2019: 3 potential impact players you probably forgot aboutcenter_img The revamped organization will be led by Tommy Sheppard, who will serve as general manager of the Wizards after holding down the interim role since Ernie Grunfeld was fired April 2.General manager Tommy Sheppard with his first remarks since being named GM: “My vision leading the Washington Wizards is to always collaborate with everybody.”#DCFamily pic.twitter.com/Pd2VfYW3Su— Washington Wizards (@WashWizards) July 22, 2019While Sheppard’s promotion was reported late last week, a couple of other familiar names joining the group were revealed Monday.  Related News Former Cleveland Browns executive vice president Sashi Brown has been named chief planning and operations officer for Monumental Basketball, while former Georgetown coach John Thompson III will lead the organization’s athlete development and engagement department. Monumental also added Daniel Medina from the 76ers as chief of athlete care and performance. “We have formed a new leadership team with a forward-thinking structure to adapt to the ‘new NBA’ that requires every possible strategic advantage to compete and win,” Leonsis said in a release. “We are building a leadership brain trust with deep Wizards/NBA experience and with sports professionals from inside and outside the NBA to challenge our thinking and adapt to an ever-increasing competitive environment.”While Sheppard is a longtime fixture in the Wizards front office, having worked there the last 16 seasons, Brown is the name that likely will draw the most attention.The Harvard-educated attorney previously worked as a lawyer in Washington before serving as senior vice president and general counsel for the Jacksonville Jaguars from 2005-12. The Browns hired him away in a similar capacity in 2013, and he was put in charge of the team’s football operations in January 2016, lasting just under two years on the job before being fired near the end of the 2017 season. Cleveland went 1-27 during his tenure. last_img read more

Villa and Norwich looking to beat QPR to Keane deal – report

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first_imgAston Villa and Norwich also want Robbie Keane, the Daily Mirror say.QPR boss Harry Redknapp is looking to sign Keane, who played under him at Tottenham, on loan from LA Galaxy now the MLS season has finished.It is claimed the striker is not keen on a short-term return to England but that Villa, who had him on loan last season, will try to bring him back and that the Canaries are also interested.Chelsea are close to agreeing a deal to sign Lazar Markovic from Partizan Belgrade despite interest from Arsenal and Liverpool, according to the Daily Mail.The Blues are reportedly set to capture the highly-rated midfielder, 18, for an initial £8m.Meanwhile, The Sun say Dnipro’s Ghana international midfielder Derek Boateng will choose between a move to Fulham or Villa.This page is regularly updated. 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 Follow West London Sport on TwitterFind us on Facebooklast_img read more

Blues looking to beat Liverpool, United and City to signing of non-League star – report

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first_imgChelsea have hijacked Liverpool’s attempts to sign teenage forward Daniel Carr from non-League Dulwich Hamlet, the Daily Mail say.Liverpool are reported to be keen to capture the 19-year-old but it is claimed that Chelsea have spoken directly with officials from the Ryman Division One South outfit about inviting Carr for a trial.Carr, who has previously had trials at Leeds and Charlton, has scored 23 goals in 23 games for Hamlet and can also play on the wing.Fourteen clubs – including Manchester United and Manchester City – are said to have made enquiries about him.The Daily Mirror suggest he is keen to move to Anfield. This page is regularly updated.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 Follow West London Sport on TwitterFind us on Facebooklast_img read more

Brighton boss Hughton denies move for Celtic star

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first_imgEmbed from Getty ImagesChris Hughton has denied reports that Brighton have made a move to try to sign Moussa Dembele from Celtic.The striker has been linked with a number of clubs since joining the Glasgow side from Fulham.Speaking after his team’s 2-0 defeat at Chelsea, Seagulls boss Hughton insisted no approach had been made by his club for Dembele.“Certainly as the manager of the football club I’m sure I would know, but there certainly has not been contact between the clubs, so that’s classed as speculation,” Hughton said.“As we get to January the names are going to be thick and fast, but at the moment they are all speculation.”Hughton’s team defended resolutely at Stamford Bridge but Chelsea broke the deadlock courtesy of Alvaro Morata’s header 52 seconds into the second half.Marcos Alonso’s goal on the hour mark sealed a deserved win for the Blues.“The game went as we would have expected, with them having a lot of possession,” Hughton said.“What disappointed me most was the timing of the first goal and the fact that the second was from a set piece.” Follow West London Sport on TwitterFind us on Facebooklast_img read more

Cosmologists Bash Heads Against Reality

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first_imgWhen observations don’t fit your ideology, invent paranoid delusions.Observational astronomy continues to militate against the expectations of big-bang cosmologists:Neutral result charges up antimatter research: Scientists push boundaries of antimatter research in quest for answers (Science Daily): The Antimatter Problem continues to resist natural explanations. The work is “the latest contribution in the quest to chase down the answer to the basic antimatter question, “If matter and antimatter were created in equal amounts during the Big Bang, where did all the antimatter go?‘” No success yet, despite hope. Roger Jones has nothing to offer in his “Explainer: What is antimatter?” on The Conversation. The universe doesn’t play by the theorists’ rules, he says. “It is almost entirely made of matter, so where did all the antimatter go? It is one of the biggest mysteries in physics to date.“This Monster Galaxy is Too Bright for Its Own Good (Space.com): A huge galaxy appears to be tearing itself apart, emitting huge amounts of energy and creating turbulence. “If all the galaxies in the universe lay at the same distance from the sun, this one would shine the brightest,” Nola Taylor Redd says. Something 12.4 billion light-years from the Milky Way is uncomfortably close to the big bang to be so large and compact.Monster Galaxy Cluster Is Biggest Ever in the Early Universe (Space.com). This is the old Lumpiness Problem. There shouldn’t be large structures early in the universe.Newly discovered star offers opportunity to explore origins of first stars sprung to life in early universe (Science Daily). Still eagerly searching for Population III stars (the first generation after the big bang), astronomers proposed this rare candidate star, an ultra-metal-poor “relic from the Milky Way’s formative years.” But it’s not metal-free. Meaning; it’s at least a second-generation star.Traces of the First Stars in the Universe Possibly Found (Space.com). “An enormous cloud of dust and gas may bear the fingerprints of the first stars in the universe.” What can clouds of gas say about stars, though? This is divination, not empirical science.Green pea galaxy right after the Big Bang (Science Daily): This article is about the Reionization Problem. What it needs is some observational evidence. “Despite twenty years of intensive research, no galaxy emitting sufficient radiation had been found” to kickstart the ionization of hydrogen. Some astronomers find a candidate galaxy, but it only “opens an important new avenue for our understanding of the early Universe.” The avenue has no passengers. Maybe the James Webb Space Telescope will help.Gravitational-wave rumours in overdrive (Nature). Has the LIGO instrument found long-predicted gravitational waves? Some are excited about the rumors, but one commenter complained, “Krauss, Motl and those who seem unable to restrain their wishful thinking, should STOP it. It is harmful to science and the public’s view of science when the much-hyped hints and rumors fall flat. We all would like to see a bona fide detection of gravitational waves, but most of us hold our tongues until the evidence becomes compelling.“With mounting anomalies and few confirmations, cosmologists continue to wander further off the reservation (5/17/14). They are deep into Fantasyland now, as the following news items demonstrate:Time might flow backwards as well as forwards from the big bang (New Scientist). Joshua Sokol follows Caltech materialist Sean Carroll into Alice in Wonderland’s mirror world of imaginary realities. A “trippy idea,” indeed. Wake up and come to.Black Holes Set the Clock for Life on Earth (Space.com). Rational people will stop reading this after the first line: “There is a chance – just a chance – that if black holes rule the universe, they could have ‘switched on’ habitable planets, such as Earth, allowing them to support complex life.“Theorists propose a new method to probe the beginning of the universe (PhysOrg): Bendable clocks, quantum wiggles and heavy particles behaving like pendulums decorate fanciful speculations by Xingang Chen about what came before the inflationary epoch of the big bang, even though the article admits, “The beginning of the cosmos is cloaked and hidden from the view of our most powerful telescopes.” Can clocks reveal what produced the initial conditions of the big bang? If so, what gave the initial conditions to the clocks?Maxwell’s demon as a self-contained, information-powered refrigerator (PhysOrg). “The work of the team led by Pekola remains, for the time being, basic research, but in the future, the results obtained may, among other things, pave the way towards reversible computing” (see Perhapsimaybecouldness Index). Don’t they realize that the higher entropy of the demon swamps the reduced entropy of the result? Go back to basic thermodynamics.New theory of secondary inflation expands options for avoiding an excess of dark matter (PhysOrg). Spike Psarris suggests we not be too harsh on this proposal. “After all, the evidence for secondary inflation is just as good as the evidence for primary inflation” (i.e., none).Supermassive black holes might be hiding entire universes inside (New Scientist). Need we respond? Let them waltz into their own fantasy: “A quirk of our leading theory of cosmic history could mean that black holes were once portals to a multitude of universes beyond our own.” Spike Psarris’s third DVD dismantles the multiverse as not just bad science, but anti-science.It’s nice to see that some cosmologists recognize they are in trouble. Thomas Kitching on The Conversation writes, “Cosmology is in crisis” – but then adds – “but not for the reasons you might think.” We’ve just shown some pretty good reasons to think that. What is his reason?We still have no idea what the vast majority of the universe is made of. We struggle to understand how the Big Bang could suddenly arise from nothing or where the energy for “inflation”, a very short period of rapid growth in the early universe, came from. But despite these gaps in knowledge, it is actually human nature – our tendency to interpret data to fit our beliefs – that is the biggest threat to modern cosmology.Bingo.Thank you, Thomas, but who’s “we”? All “your” problems would vanish if you would trust the Manufacturer’s Manual. One reliable Eyewitness trumps a thousand imagineers, especially when they are all demonstrably psychotic (for evidence, buy this video). (Visited 65 times, 1 visits today)FacebookTwitterPinterestSave分享0last_img read more

Soil testing first step in pasture improvement

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first_imgShare Facebook Twitter Google + LinkedIn Pinterest Producers thinking about pasture improvement should start by testing the soil, said Jim Camberato, Purdue Extension soil fertility specialist.“Establishing proper pH and adequate nutrient levels in the root zone is important for the health and productivity of the plants growing there,” he said.The first step in soil testing is collecting samples. Camberato recommends that farmers use a soil probe to take 15-20 core specimens from a sampling area encompassing no more than 15-20 acres. Each sampling area should be determined on the basis of common characteristics – including soil type, location and management history.Don’t skimp on samples“Soil analysis and lime and fertilizer recommendations are only as good as the samples,” Camberato said. “Do not skimp on the number of cores or increase the size of the sample area represented.”Soil core samples should measure 1 inch in diameter and 4 inches deep in established pastures and 8 inches deep for soils that are to be planted. Producers should crush and mix the soil cores well in a clean plastic container and send a 1-pint sample to a commercial laboratory for nutrient testing.Camberato said it is important for farmers to get a basic analysis of pH, organic matter, cation exchange capacity, plant available phosphorus, potassium, calcium and magnesium. Micronutrient analysis is not usually necessary for pasture sampling. Camberato recommends that producers go to the Purdue Extension website to find a list of certified soil testing labs.Certified soil testing labs will usually report recommendations from the analysis for an additional fee. Farmers who are unable to interpret the analysis themselves can consult Purdue Extension’s Forage Field Guide or ask an expert for help, Camberato said.Phosphorus or potassiumBased on the soil test results, Camberato said producers may need to apply phosphorus or potassium in-season or shortly before seeding. If a pasture’s pH level is unfavorable, lime should be applied to the pasture as soon as possible.Camberato said now may be the best time for fertilizing worn-down pastures.“Fertilizer prices are relatively low this season, so it may be a good time to take care of pastures that have low P and K levels,” he said.He had special advice for producers who plan to establish new pastures. “It is beneficial to establish adequate pH levels with lime and adequate phosphorus and potassium levels with fertilizer before seeding so that as much of the root zone can be affected as possible,” he said.last_img read more

Understanding soil biology offers a competitive advantage on the farm

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first_imgShare Facebook Twitter Google + LinkedIn Pinterest Much of the oft-touted American Dream is based upon businesses developing competitive advantages over their competition.“If Ford and GM are competing to make the best car for the least amount of money and one of them has a technological innovation that gives them an advantage, the other is scurrying rapidly to one-up them and get back on top,” said Dan DeSutter, who farms 5,000 acres near Attica, Ind. and recently spoke at the Ohio No-Till Summer Field Day. “In farming there is a blissful adherence to tradition to want to do things the way grandpa did it. There are good things that can came out of that but we need to understand science better as farmers.”For DeSutter, an understanding of the science of soil biology is the competitive advantage for his farm. He admits there is still much to learn in this area, but cover crops combined with livestock manure and no-till are important biological steps to transitioning modern agriculture from degenerative to regenerative.“What we are doing is regenerating the soil and what others are doing is degenerative and is going to tear it down,” DeSutter said. “There are miners and farmers and there is a difference.”DeSutter’s father had some bad experiences with cover crops in the 1980s and they were not really too interested in re-visiting those issues again until the advantages became accidentally apparent.“Our entry into cover crops was quite by accident, like a lot of good things we discover on the farm. We were helping with a research project with Eileen Kladivko for Purdue. We planted when she said plant and sprayed when she said spray. We didn’t pay a lot of attention until one spring when I was out fixing tile and dug a hole, and at that time we were using annual ryegrass in the research. The ryegrass was about eight inches tall and I was down in the soil pit four feet deep and I saw roots coming out of the bottom. That really caught my attention. That was back in the day when we really focused on the physical — soil and biology weren’t really mentioned in the same sentence back then,” DeSutter said. “We had spent a couple of years tearing the guts out of a John Deere 4440 pulling an Unverferth Zone-Builder trying to get rid of our compaction down 12 or 14 inches deep, and here was a plant that for five bucks an acre just bored Swiss cheese holes through my soil four feet deep. That was a kind of ‘ah-ha’ moment for us and since then we’ve worked to where we try to have something green and growing on every acre every year all the time as much as the climate will allow. That was in ‘96 or ‘97.”That discovery led to a long series of trial and error on the farm.“We had a lot of misfires early. The ryegrass worked really well, but we had erratic success in getting it to survive the winter. We are far enough south we don’t get full snow cover in the winter, but far enough north that we still get the arctic blasts. When you get that artic blast with no snow cover, ryegrass doesn’t take it really well. We have migrated to other crops too,” he said. “Diversity is the whole key. We are trying to inject diversity into our system. If you look at the systems that created our soil to begin with — the native forests or the prairie — it is not uncommon to have 100 different species of plant in an acre. When you compare that to what we have today, we have obviously strayed pretty far from that and we see the evidence of that starting to catch up with us. Nature abhors a mono-crop.”Crop diversity leads to increased diversity in soil life. Just a teaspoon of quality soil has more living organisms than the number of people living on earth. Those diverse organisms need variety to survive and thrive.“Within the context of the cash grain system we use cover crops as a way to inject diversity into the system. We use all different kinds of plants but it is all dependent on planting date. We plant a lot more wheat now just so we can have the opportunity to plant a 12-way cocktail. That pales in comparison to nature, but that is a big jump from where we’ve been,” DeSutter said. “As it gets into September we still plant a three- to five-way cocktail and by mid-October we are pretty much down to cereal rye because that is about the only thing that will survive at that point. We are still looking for new things, especially a legume that we can plant later in the fall that will survive winter, but we haven’t found it yet.”They have also shortened crop maturities to accommodate cover crops.“We certainly are more interested in earlier maturing crops than we have been in the past. We have shortened our bean maturity from an average 3.0 to 3.9 to now we have a 2.7 to 3.4. With corn we are always looking for a new 107-day hybrid that can hang with the 112s and the 113s but they are rare,” he said. “You have to look at this from a holistic standpoint. Sometimes we sacrifice a little yield this year to help us out next year. You have to look at this long term. We have a lot of pressure to look at the bottom line one year at a time instead of really looking at a five- or 10-year period when you adopt a new practice.”As the details of soil biology have been emphasized on the farm, the competitive advantages are becoming more apparent.“Nine years out of 10, the limiting factor on our farm is water. It takes water to produce bushels and when you run out you’re done. For every percent of organic matter in the soil’s top 12 inches we can store an inch of water. Our soils started at 6% to 8% OM and now we are under 2% on a lot of that stuff,” DeSutter said. “We have documented that by adding cover crops in the last 10 to 15 years, soils that started at 2% and are now over 4%. Adding 2% organic matter back to the soil really helps when August comes and that inevitable dry spell hits. It’s like our farm gets two inches more than other farmers get. Some years that may not be worth a lot but some years it is worth its weight in gold.”That increased organic matter also dramatically increases the amount of available nitrogen provided by the soil, allowing them to reduce nitrogen inputs by roughly $30 an acre. It also helps make better use of fertilizer applications.“The best thing we can do to keep the fertilizer on the ground is to have something growing there all the time,” DeSutter said. “If there is something green and growing, fertility doesn’t leave.”The improved soil biology also offers other clear advantages for farm profitability. At $4 corn, DeSutter’s soil health system budget leads to a per acre net loss (before land costs) of $17.92 per acre in the current challenging economic conditions. A comparable conventional system is losing $461.36 per acre with $4 corn.“We like cover crops because they help us plant earlier. Nine times out of 10 we can plant before the neighbors because we are using that green growing plant to dry the soil out. We tend to plant green for that reason. The biggest challenge is the rare dry spring and we take too much moisture out for crop germination,” DeSutter said. “The best thing I can tell you is the county average for corn is 167 and our proven APH is 221. I think that speaks volumes. My crop insurance agent told me we have the highest APH of anyone he works with. I think what we are doing is clearly working and it has allowed us to make a land payment instead of a rent payment because of the advantages we have over others.”last_img read more

Beware: Tick numbers could be on the rise this spring

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first_imgShare Facebook Twitter Google + LinkedIn Pinterest The warm winter weather has many concerned that ticks will be early and plentiful this spring. Those working outdoors need to be on the lookout.Aside from just providing a serious case of the heebie-jeebies, ticks are a real, and growing threat to human and animal health because they carry diseases. According to the Ohio Department of Natural Resources, blacklegged ticks are active throughout the year in Ohio with the adults active in the spring, fall and winter. The nymphs are active in the spring and summer and the larvae are active in late summer. The onset of human Lyme disease cases occurs all year in Ohio, but incidents peak in summer following the emergence of the nymphs.Lyme disease is caused by the bacterium Borrelia burgdorferi and is transmitted to humans through the bite of infected blacklegged ticks, according to the Ohio Department of Health. Typical symptoms include fever, headache, fatigue and a characteristic skin rash called erythema migrans — the “bull’s-eye” rash. Lyme disease occurs primarily in the Northeastern and upper Midwestern United States with Ohio located in between. Ohio has reported fairly low occurrence of Lyme disease in the past, but since 2010 blacklegged tick populations in Ohio have increased dramatically and their range continues to expand, particularly in the forest habitats. Increased cases of Lyme disease have followed.Greene County Christmas tree grower Matt Mongin had an awful run-in with Lyme disease that he hopes to help others avoid.Matt Mongin had a nasty run in with Lyme disease.“After 30 years in the Christmas tree business, in 2015 I encountered Lyme disease. I am not sure when I got it, but in the fall just before we opened our farm after Thanksgiving I got seriously sick. My wife took me to the emergency room and within 24 hours I lost consciousness,” Mongin said. “The physicians in the ICU weren’t sure if I would live. They gave me a cocktail of antibiotics that they thought might help and it worked. Within three or four days I regained consciousness and I was better but I was in the hospital for 13 days. I lost my entire 2015 sales season. It took another 4.5 months of daily injections of antibiotics to cure the Lyme disease.”The Center for Disease Control reports 30,000 new cases of Lyme disease each year around the country, but experts believe that most cases are never reported. There were 112 Ohio confirmed Lyme disease cases in 2015 with 42 more probable cases, up from 58 in 2005.“Lyme disease specialists around the country say that Lyme disease is hugely under reported and their current estimate is 300,000 new cases each year,” Mongin said.The best protection from tick bites is to simply avoid areas where they are present during the months when the nymphs are most active from March through August. Of course, many in agriculture do not have that option.“The next best thing to do is to understand the life cycle of the tick. They have a complex life cycle with four phases from eggs to larvae to nymph to adult. At each phase they need a blood meal from a warm-blooded mammal,” he said. “Typically the smallest ticks have their blood meal from a mouse or other small rodent.  The larger ticks look for bigger mammals like humans.”Because the nymphs require larger animals for a food source, they are highly dependent on deer in Ohio to move and find mates. Fencing to prevent deer can be effective in avoiding ticks and Lyme disease in commonly used outdoor areas. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention suggests tips to create tick-safe zones for children, family members and employees to make areas less attractive to ticks through landscaping. These include:• Clear tall grasses and brush around homes and at the edge of lawns.Place a three-foot wide barrier of wood chips or gravel between lawns and wooded areas and around patios and play equipment. This will restrict tick migration into recreational areas.Mow the lawn frequently and keep leaves raked.Stack wood neatly and in a dry area to discourage rodents that ticks feed on.Keep playground equipment, decks, and patios away from yard edges and trees and place them in a sunny location, if possible.Remove any old furniture, mattresses, or trash from the yard that may give ticks a place to hide.Mongin also stressed the importance of dressing appropriately.“When you are out in the woods you need to dress to prevent them from having access to your skin. They are out there and you want long pants and long shirts when you are outdoors near the woods or trees where ticks are,” he said. “Wear long pants, socks and long sleeved shirts. Tuck your pants into your socks or boots and secure them with a cord, rubber band or Velcro tie. Then shower as soon as you go indoors and look for ticks on your skin and in your hair. Wash and dry your clothing on high heat as soon as you can. Anti-tick sprays with Deet can also be helpful.”Ticks are flightless and do not jump. They crawl up tall grass, shrubs and bushes and wait for warm-blooded mammals to pass by. Then they grab onto fur or clothing and then crawl to areas of soft skin. Those who do find a tick on their skin need to remove it quickly.“Ideally you will see that tick and remove it quickly and if you do you will probably not get the disease. Ticks should be removed with a set of fine tweezers. Pull the tick’s head out of the skin and wash well with alcohol or soap and water. Heat or matches are not helpful. Then save the tick and show it to your doctor,” Mongin said. “You can take it in a plastic bag to your physician and they will advise you what to do next. Often they will give you an oral antibiotic to take for a couple of weeks and that will be the end of it. The bigger problem is if you have a tick bite and don’t know it.”Their bites do not cause itching so ticks can be hard to find. If it is not found and removed, a tick will feed and leave after a day or two.“The tick really needs to be embedded in your skin for a couple of days for you to get the disease. You may get a bulls-eye rash where the tick bit you and it is very distinctive. If you don’t get the rash but you’ve been bitten, you could get persistent Lyme disease that has flu-like systems with fever, headaches, joint pain, and chills,” Mongin said. “You need to talk to your medical professional and let them know that you have been in a position where you could have been exposed to ticks. Then they can do a blood test and get you the antibiotics you need to cure the disease. You probably will never know you have Lyme disease until you see a definitive rash or you have a blood test that shows you have antibodies to the bacteria that causes Lyme disease.”Antibiotics that are prescribed for Lyme disease include Amoxicillin, Tetracycline, Cefuroxime and Doxycycline. Left untreated, Lyme disease can be debilitating and challenging to cure.In addition to Lyme disease, the blacklegged tick is also the principal vector of human granulocytic anaplasmosis and babesiosis. The ticks may be co-infected with several disease agents, and some ticks may simultaneously infect a host with two or more of these diseases, according to Ohio State University Extension. Two other tick species in Ohio are medically important because they are disease vectors — the American dog tick and the lone star tick. All tick species are vectors of the heebie-jeebies.last_img read more