Minnesota tick diseases were down in 2012; bounce back likely this year - Bring Me The News

Minnesota tick diseases were down in 2012; bounce back likely this year

Author:
Updated:
Original:

The Minnesota Health Department reports diseases carried by ticks were far less common in 2012 than in other recent years.

But officials think the drop in Lyme disease and other tick-borne illnesses was likely a product of last year's dry weather. They say our wet spring suggests the numbers will rebound this year.

Last year saw the lowest number of confirmed Lyme disease cases in the state since 2003. Tick-borne disease specialist Dave Neitzel says it's possible the number was down because people are doing a better job of protecting themselves from ticks. But he suspects the dry weather is a more likely explanation.

Not much dry weather this year. And Neitzel says we're just entering the peak time of year for ticks. "Based on what we're seeing, we expect the highest risk period for tick-borne diseases to occur over the next few weeks in Minnesota," Neitzel said.

It's a similar story in Wisconsin, based on what that state's health department told the Kenosha News.

The antibiotic most often used to treat Lyme disease has been in short supply this year. Sen. Amy Klobuchar is among those who have urged the Food and Drug Administration to take steps to relieve the shortage.

Next Up

Related

Disease-carrying ticks moving deeper into Northland

Experts tell the Duluth News-Tribune it used to be rare to catch a tick-borne illness such as Lyme disease north of Duluth, “but now it’s a fairly routine thing.” The Associated Press takes a look at a new map showing Lyme disease risk areas, and a video from Howcast can help you recognize the symptoms of Lyme disease, which, if caught early, often doesn't turn into a debilitating illness.

Tick-infested spring likely without an extended deep freeze

The warmer winter weather has its advantages and disadvantages. One disadvantage might be an abundance of deer ticks. According to the Star Tribune, the black-legged insects can survive without an extended cold snap. This is also prompting additional warnings about tick-borne illnesses and the dangers of Lyme disease.