Cases of anaplasmosis surge in the region
Bethany Bump is reporting for the Times Union local and state health officials are reporting a significant increase in the number of cases of a potentially deadly and once-rare tick-borne disease in the region. A surge in anaplasmosis cases has been reported in both Warren and Rensselaer counties so far this year. The disease is transmitted by infected ticks and can cause fever, chills, muscle aches, headache, nausea, vomiting, and diarrhea. If left untreated, it can cause respiratory problems, bleeding, organ failure and even death especially among the elderly and immunocompromised. Warren County Health Services reported it has seen 40 cases of the disease so far this year, a fourfold increase over the nine cases recorded during the same period last year, and more than double the number of cases in 2018 and 2019 combined. Rensselaer County officials warned residents of a similar surge late last month. County Public Health Director Mary Fran Wachunas said, “Residents should be aware of the increased tick activity and be ready to protect themselves as they enjoy the outdoors this summer.” Lyme remains the most widespread tick-borne disease in New York, but anaplasmosis and babesiosis, another potentially fatal tick-borne disease, have been on the rise in recent years. Climate change is one reason for the growing spread of ticks, as warming weather increases the likelihood of a tick surviving the winter. It also extends the seasons they are out and active, which in this part of the country has been late spring, early summer and fall. Read the full story in the Times Union.