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Tick Study Indicated High Risk of Lyme disease in the Northeast and Midwest

A recent study in the "American Journal of Tropical Medicine and Hygiene focused on one of our hot topics here at Mosquito Squad: Lyme disease. Over 5300 tick nymphs were collected between 2004 and 2006 in the eastern half of the United States (37 states) and were studied to see if borrelia burgdorferi (Lyme disease) was present in the gut. The results were somewhat surprising.

Lyme disease was first found in Lyme, CT in 1975. Since then, the disease has been slowly spreading south. As you can see in the study’s map to the left, the study confirmed a common presence of Lyme disease from Maine to Northern Virginia with the eastern coast’s hot bed in the Connecticut, Massachusetts, New Jersey area.

The United States has a second hot bed for Lyme in the Midwest, primarily in Wisconsin and Minnesota. What is interesting to note is the very low occurrence of Lyme between the two hot beds. The researchers noted in their discussion that even in areas where the Lyme risked is illustrated as low, it doesn’t mean that it does not exist and body checks should always be performed when spending time in a potential tick zone.

Lyme disease is a potentially debilitating illness that can have lifelong affects if not treated early. Symptoms include fatigue, chills, fever and headaches. It’s important that if you ever find a tick on you, to remove it safely (here are the CDC’s recommendations for removing a tick) and place it in a plastic bag in case you need to have it tested.

Mosquito Squad is happy to help fight the bite against ticks. If you live in an area where ticks are a problem, contact your local Squad and ask about our tick control program.

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* Tick control not available in MI without a license