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Tick-borne diseases on the rise in Rensselaer County

Jul 02, 2019 2:15 pm
Bethany Bump is reporting for the Times Union the Rensselaer County Health Department is warning residents about a surge in tick-borne diseases countywide. The department said July 1, it has seen a rise of anaplasmosis, a bacterial infection similar to Lyme disease. There have been 105 cases reported in the county so far this year, compared to just 34 at the same point in 2018. The first symptoms of anaplasmosis typically begin within one to two weeks of a bite, and mimic the flu. They include fever, headache, muscle pain, weakness, chills, nausea, cough and confusion. Unlike Lyme, however, they rarely feature a rash. The disease is particularly severe in people with weak immune systems. Treatment is similar to that for Lyme disease, and involves a course of antibiotics. Lyme is also on the rise in Rensselaer County, with 53 cases reported so far, up from 35 this time last year. "At the start of the summer season, we encourage our residents to be aware of tick-borne diseases," Rensselaer County Executive Steve McLaughlin said in a statement. He encouraged residents with concerns to reach out to the county Health Department at 518-270-2655. Read the full story in the Times Union.