Opioids in Augusta

The Augusta Chronicle has a weekend op-ed: The opioid crisis/epidemic is hitting home.

Georgia’s Brenda Fitzgerald could head the CDC

Trump is expected to assign her to the post soon; it doesn’t require confirmation. She’s headed Georgia’s Department of Public Health since 2011.

Tick season, 2017

Back in 2014, trees decided to produce more acorns and other seeds the next year. (It’s something trees do called “masting,” and scientists aren’t sure what makes the trees choose one year over another*.) In 2015 they did, leading to a booming rodent population in 2016.

Those rodents had babies, which were ripe for spreading all sorts of wonderful tick-borne illnesses — in 2017.

So 2017 is going to be one of the worst years for ticks in recent memory. That means you and your patients need to be on the lookout for tick bites and signs of Lyme disease and West Nile Virus.

You know the drill: DEET is the best repellent you can get, and treating clothes with permethrin is even better. Tell your patients and customers not to mess with natural remedies, random essential oils, or Aunt Martha’s proven repellent. This isn’t the year to take chances.

*This is what you learn reading the awesome The Hidden Life of Trees