Ind. Dept. of Health encourages precautions against tick-borne disease

Alicia Farmer
May 5, 2018

The CDC reported earlier this week that 96,075 diseases caused by mosquitoes, tick and flea bites were reported in 2016, up from 27,388 in 2004. Mosquito-borne illnesses spiked in 2016 with the emergence of the Zika virus, with over 47,000 cases of mosquito-borne illnesses reported that year (although many were in USA territories, the US mainland also saw a dramatic increase).

Hot on the heals of the news from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control Tuesday that mosquito, tick and flea bite-related illnesses had tripled in the past 12 years, New York Senator Chuck Schumer urged the CDC on Wednesday to commit some of the department's $900 million budget increase this year to help fight these so-called "vector-borne diseases". Climate change, Raupp said.

In fact, mosquito- and tick-borne diseases have become more common over the last decade, which means the need for tick and mosquito protection from them is that much more important now, per a new report from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).

May is recognized as Lyme Disease Awareness Month because it marks a return to warmer temperatures that allow insects like ticks to thrive.

The demographics for mosquito and tick-borne illnesses are widespread, but he says the elderly usually suffer from the most catastrophic consequences.

Climate change "enables these ticks to expand to new areas". Tick-borne diseases made up 77% of all vector-borne disease case reports. Many other factors are at work, he added, including increased jet travel and a lack of vaccines. Tick-borne diseases can be treated with antibiotics, and prompt diagnosis can help prevent complications.

Many people say they've already noticed the mosquitoes returning to the Brazos Valley.

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The CDC estimates that about 300,000 Americans contract Lyme disease each year, primarily in states in the upper Midwest and Northeast. Petersen said, however, that federal programs are increasing funding to those organizations. "The growing number and spread of these diseases pose an increasing risk in the U.S. The report found that the nation needs to be better prepared to face this public health threat".

Ticks may be safely removed by using tweezers to grasp the tick close to the skin and then pulling outward with steady and even pressure.

When you go outside, try to cover up exposed parts of your skin by wearing long trousers and long sleeves.

Treat clothing and gear such as trousers, boots, socks and tents with a product containing permethrin, or buy permethrin-treated clothing and gear.

Take steps to control ticks and fleas on pets.

Tick tubes are cardboard tubes filled with insecticide-soaked cotton, which mice pick at and take back to their nests.

Once indoors, people should thoroughly check for ticks on clothing, gear, pets and skin.

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