Tick-borne Diseases on the Rise 

August 14, 2019

Comprehensive studies completed by the Centers for Disease Control and the World Health Organization have reported that tick-borne diseases are indeed increasing. Not only have the number of cases risen but new tick-borne diseases have been identified. If this news isn’t bad enough, the geographic range of some ticks has also expanded. Let’s take a closer look at what the experts are saying regarding ticks and the diseases they spread. 

One cause of the rise in numbers is the change in climate. CBS News’ Dr. David Agus told “CBS This Morning” part of what’s behind the rise in ticks in parts of the U.S. where they are traditionally found is climate change. “The weather is changing. Climate is changing and there are more mice, there are more food for the ticks,” he said. “As reforestation happens, as climate change happens, different areas of the country are getting more of these.”

New Germs New Diseases 

The Center for Disease Control published in April 2019 that new germs have been discovered to travel with ticks and subsequently the animals on which ticks find harborage. Those germs include: Borrelia mayonii, Borrelia miyamotoi, Ehrlichia ewingii, Ehrlichia muris eauclairensis, Heartland virus, Rickettsia parkeri, and Rickettsiaspecies 364D.

 

Increase in Number of Cases

New data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) show tick-borne diseases are again on the rise. The reported numbers of cases of Lyme disease, anaplasmosis/ehrlichiosis, spotted fever rickettsiosis (including Rocky Mountain spotted fever), babesiosis, tularemia, and Powassan virus disease all increased—from a total of 48,610 reported cases in 2016 to a total of 59,349 reported cases in 2017. Reported cases capture only a fraction of the overall number of people with tick-borne illnesses. 

 

Range Expanding 

In addition to the increase in the types of germs being spread and the number of cases being diagnosed, there is also the fear that the range of ticks is steadily expanding. The number of counties in the northeastern and upper midwestern United States that are considered high-risk for Lyme disease increased by more than 300% between 1993 and 2012. 

Protect yourself and your family by dressing appropriately, applying repellent like DEET or Picairdin, and by having your yard professionally treated for ticks. Call Pest-End Exterminators at 800.287.4321or visit our website for more information. 

 

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