PORTLAND, Maine (AP) — A late-summer drought just about eradicated ticks in elements of New England however they’re again with a vengeance this spring.
Canine ticks, which don’t carry Lyme illness like deer ticks do, have been particularly lively since early spring in Maine, New Hampshire and Vermont.
And individuals who’ve been getting open air due to the pandemic are discovering the arachnids on themselves and on pets.
“Individuals are open air much more due to COVID so we’ve all found this newfound love relationship with nature, which is admittedly cool and I’m actually completely happy about. So there’s simply much more probabilities for … human interactions with ticks,” stated Patti Casey, environmental surveillance program supervisor for the Vermont Company of Agriculture.
It’s a far cry, up to now, from final summer time. A lot of New England was in a drought, and there have been fewer biting bugs.
In Maine, the variety of Lyme illness circumstances was practically halved final yr, dipping from a file excessive of two,167 in 2019 to 1,115 in 2020, based on state information. One caveat, officers stated, is that some individuals might have been reluctant to hunt medical care through the pandemic.
The busy spring for ticks has been sending extra individuals to the emergency room in Maine. Maine Middle for Illness Management and Prevention reported 176 tick-related emergency division visits for the week that ended Might 16. Final yr, there have been 91 tick-related ER visits in the identical week.
Maine CDC reported practically 100 circumstances of Lyme illness from Jan. 1 to Might 18 of this yr. The company is asking anybody who spends time outdoors to take preventive measures reminiscent of utilizing repellent and carrying light-colored clothes that covers legs and arms.
The state of New Hampshire has recorded simply 10 circumstances of Lyme illness up to now this yr.
How extreme of a Lyme illness burden the state can have relies upon closely on the circumstances this summer time. Rain, moisture and humidity are useful for ticks.
“Tickborne ailments stay a critical menace in Maine,” Maine CDC stated in an announcement.
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