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Greater risk of contracting Lyme in Columbia, Greene this year

Mar 08, 2017 8:15 am

Amanda Purcell is reporting in The Daily Mail the mice population exploded in 2016, and with it, scientists say, comes a greater risk of contracting Lyme disease as the warmer months approach. Researchers at the Cary Institute of Ecosystem Studies in Millbrook, Dutchess County, have tracked the explosion of Lyme and other tick-borne diseases in the Hudson Valley for 25 years. Dr. Richard Ostfeld of the Cary Institute said there could be a higher percentage of nymph ticks, the most threatening type, this year than last because of the increased population of white-footed mice. Mice are good carriers for ticks, he said. Mice in the Hudson Valley have been known to carry upwards of 40 ticks at a time, usually on and around their ears and heads, Ostfeld said. The high risk of exposure to Lyme, however, does not guarantee a higher number of Lyme disease cases, Ostfeld said. “Ironically, one of the things that happens when there is a high risk is that more people will then protect themselves by using repellents and protective clothing,” he said. Those who venture outdoors should be vigilant for tick-borne diseases such as Lyme as early as the end of April, rather than the typical month of May, Ostfeld said. Read the full story in The Daily Mail.

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