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Ticks Spreading Farther Across U.S., Raising Risk of Lyme Disease Infections

0 2 years ago

Seeing as most ticks thrive in warm, moist weather, tick season will likely be especially tough this year, health officials predict.

“While regions across the country were either unseasonably cold or warm this past winter, there’s one factor that almost all of them had in common: excessive moisture,” Jim Fredericks, PhD, the chief entomologist for the National Pest Management Association (NPMA), said in the NPMA’s bi-annual Bug Barometer press release.

“From record-setting snow in parts of Texas and Arizona to excessive rain in the southeast, continued precipitation predicted for most of the country this upcoming season will allow pest populations to continue to thrive and multiply,” he said.

Here’s what to expect this year

There are several different types of ticks scattered across the country. Each species is known to transmit a different disease, such as Lyme disease, anaplasmosis, spotted fever rickettsiosis, and babesiosis.

Many ticks can carry germs that are harmful to our health, but only a handful actually pose a serious threat. Most tick bites are harmless and won’t cause any physical symptoms.

“While there are a multitude of tick species throughout the world, only a number of selected species bite and transmit disease to people. One of the most important and relevant ones is the tick that transmits Lyme disease,” Dr. Robert Glatter, an emergency physician at Lenox Hill Hospital in New York, told Healthline.

Lyme diseaseTrusted Source

is the most common tick-borne disease in the United States. Each year, approximately 30,000 cases of Lyme disease are reported in the country.

However, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC)Trusted Source

believes that actual number of Americans who get Lyme disease each year may be closer to 300,000.

The bacteria Borrelia burgdorferi causes the disease and is transmitted through the bite of an infected black-legged tick.

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