Health officials warn of increasing tick population

Number of Bug Bite Related Illnesses On the Rise Across the US

CDC says tick, mosquito-borne diseases on the increase

A new report by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) shows diseases from mosquito, tick and flea bites have more than tripled in the USA over the past 12 years. In 2016, there were over 96,000 cases, accounting for nearly 15% of total reported instances in those 13 years.

"We certainly don't preclude that that's happening", lead study author Ronald Rosenberg of the CDC's Division of Vector Borne Diseases said in an interview.

The report noted that the mosquito most responsible for transmitting Zika (Aedes aegypti) has now spread to as many as 38 states. Since 2004, there have been nine new germs transmitted by ticks and mosquitoes with new tick germs accounting for seven of the nine new discoveries.

The Upper Midwestern Regional Center of Excellence for Vector-Borne Disease plans to unveil a new smartphone app that will help them track tick exposure in high-risk areas for Lyme disease.

Diseases such as Lyme, West Nile, Zika and dengue are on the rise and the not fully prepared to control the spread, the report finds.

Reported cases of what are called vector-borne diseases have more than tripled nationwide, growing from 27,388 cases reported in 2004 to a whopping 96,075 cases reported in 2016, according to the new Vital Signs report published by the CDC on Tuesday. West Nile virus, also spread by mosquitoes, is widespread across the continental United States. Finding an insect on the body, remove it immediately using tweezers, disinfect the bite site and wash your hands.

"Climate change certainly has to be treated as a realistic possibility", he says.

An infected tick must be attached to a person for more than 24 hours before it can transmit the infection to its bite victim.

The most effective way to avoid getting sick from viruses spread by mosquitoes is to prevent mosquito bites. "So we see that cases that get reported (by doctors and labs) to public health are one in eight to one in 10", said Galanis, a physician epidemiologist.

"When it comes to our exploding tick-borne disease problem, the Hudson valley has been feeling the brunt of the brutal bite for years and would greatly benefit from an increase in federal funding necessary to head this tick season of at the pass", said Schumer.

For most of these diseases, the only way to stop outbreaks is through mosquito control, which is expensive and rarely effective. "Minnesota and Wisconsin, that's kind of the bullseye for Lyme disease and the growth of cases here in North America". There were about 1,000 cases of Lyme disease across Canada in 2016, according to the Public Health Agency.

The Lyme disease is an infectious disease that is transmitted through the bite of ticks and is caused by the Borrelia Burgdorferi bacterium. "This period will allow (us to get) detectable levels of antibodies in the blood", he said.

Beck said he has friends who have contracted Lyme disease, so being aware of how it can be contracted is always in the back of his mind. A year ago there were 89 cases of West Nile in 80 different counties, the health department said.

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