Tick increase across Central New York

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UTICA, N.Y. (WUTR/WFXV/WPNY-TV) — Warmer weather means beach days and hanging by the pool, but it also means bug season. This year there has already been a reported increase in ticks across Central New York and summer just started

“There’s been reported an increase in the number of ticks in the field recently because of the warm weather and people are getting out more in the summertime for exercise and other activities,” Dr. Daniel Gilmore, Oneida County Public Health Director said. “People have noticed more ticks but it’s important to be aware that they are there and to protect yourself from ticks.”

Over the last few years, ticks have become more common across the state due to milder winters and warmer summers as well as deer and turkey populations rising. Upstate Medical University located in Syracuse, began a free tick testing program in 2019 to get a better understanding of how ticks transmit diseases with the goal to develop counter measures to control Lyme and other tick-borne diseases. Upstate Medical reported that 1 in 3 ticks sent to their lab for testing in the last two and a half years tested positive for a pathogen that can cause illness in humans. That number increases to 41% in Oneida County and 50% in Herkimer.

“If people suspect they have been bitten by a tick they should notify their primary care provider and if they have a bulls-eye rash, that’s one sign of Lyme disease,” Gilmore explained. “They should definitely visit their primary care provider.”

Two of the most common symptoms of Lyme disease are the bulls-eye rash and extreme fatigue. Gilmore also advises checking over your pet, they too can be susceptible to tick-borne diseases. For more information, you can go to the county’s website, and click on the ticks and Lyme Disease link.

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