The number of ticks that carry the Lyme disease has increased considerably in the United States in the last 20 years. According to a report done by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the ticks can now be found in almost 50% of the counties in the United States.
This research was the first that focused on the tick population in the U.S. since 1998. Every year, approximately 30,000 people are diagnosed with the Lyme disease nationwide and reported to CDC. Even though that number might seem high to you, in fact the number is thought to be near 329,000, as a lot of cases are not reported. The ticks carry the Lyme disease and they spread it to humans by biting them. If the tick is not noticed and is left untreated, the person bitten by a tick can suffer from neurological issues and joint inflammation even years after the infection. When the tick bite is discovered in time, it can be easily treated with the help of antibiotics. Symptoms of the Lyme disease can include tiredness, fever, a rash in the area of the bite and headaches.
For their study, the researchers collected data from 1996 until the present. In 1998, the ticks were present in approximately 30% of the counties and that number increased to more than 45%. The largest expansion of the tick population was seen in Wisconsin, Vermont, Ohio, Minnesota and New York. According to Dr. John Auccott from the Johns Hopkins Lyme Disease Clinical Research Center, the spreading of the ticks can be seen in the spreading of the Lyme disease in humans in the last years. He also stated that the expansion of the tick population was caused by the increased population of deer, by the climate change as the ticks like the warm weather and by reforestation.
According to the researchers, the number of ticks will only continue to increase. It is important for you to know that ticks live in the cities as well, not only in the country side. Anywhere there’s a green space, you should take into the possibility of ticks being there. In order to avoid being bitten by a tick you should avoid the high grass, check your body of ticks after you’ve been in a green area, check your pet for ticks.
The research that showed that the number of ticks that carry the Lyme disease has increased was published in the Journal of Medical Entomology.
Image Source: www.upload.wikimedia.org