How se­ri­ous is the threat?

The Week (US) - - News 11 -

It’s be­come a real con­cern for any­one who spends time in the outdoors. Ticks and mos­qui­toes that can be found in back­yards, the woods, fields, and even cities are trans­mit­ting Lyme dis­ease, anaplas­mo­sis, babesio­sis, Rocky Mountain spot­ted fever, and a host of other ill­nesses. Re­ported cases of these dis­eases more than tripled be­tween 2004 and 2016, ac­cord­ing to the Cen­ters for Dis­ease Con­trol and Preven­tion. Part of that rise, from 27,388 cases to 96,075, is at­trib­ut­able to the mos­quito-borne Zika out­break in South Florida in 2016. But tick-borne ill­nesses are truly epi­demic, with a dou­bling of re­ported cases over that pe­riod, as the blood­thirsty arach­nids ex­pand into new re­gions of the U.S. Sci­en­tists have also dis­cov­ered nine new vec­tor-borne dis­eases, some of them po­ten­tially fa­tal. “These are more than sum­mer­time nui­sances,” says Lyle Petersen, di­rec­tor of the CDC’s Vec­tor-Borne Dis­eases divi­sion. “Peo­ple re­ally do need to take this se­ri­ously.”

An adult deer tick, which can cause Lyme dis­ease

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