Summer Fun Brings Threat Of Serious Disease In New York State
While summertime in New York State brings great weather and lots of fun, it also brings the threat of a serious disease. Many New Yorkers, love to be outdoors during the summer, which increases their risk of being infected.
When Is Tick Season In New York State?
It's kicking off NOW. Young deer ticks, which are called nymphs, are active from mid-May to mid-August. Adult ticks become active a bit earlier in New York State - from March to mid-May and from mid-August to November. Ticks can become active anytime the temperature rises above freezing.
What Is Lyme Disease?
Both nymphs and adult ticks can spread Lyme disease to humans. According to Tick Check, there were 101,300 cases of lyme disease confirmed in New York from 2000 to 2020.
Lyme disease is a bacterial infection caused by the bite of an infected deer tick. Untreated, the disease can cause a number of health problems. Patients treated with antibiotics in the early stage of the infection usually recover rapidly and completely. Since Lyme disease first became reportable in 1986, over 98,500 cases have been confirmed in New York State.
Not every tick is infected with Lyme disease. It depends on whether the creature they have been feeding on is infected. The tick also needs to remain on a human for a lengthy period of time to transmit the disease, according to the New York Department of Health.
In most cases, the tick must be attached for 36 hours or more before the bacteria can be transmitted. Lyme disease does not spread from one person to another. Transfer of the bacteria from an infected pregnant woman to the fetus is extremely rare.
However, according to Syracuse.com, data released by New York State shows that more than half of adult deer ticks collected carry the bacteria that causes Lyme Disease. Around 27 percent of nymphs carry the bacteria. Nymphs are more likely to spread the bacteria to humans though, because they are more difficult to see on the skin. They are also active during the summer when New Yorkers are outdoors.
What Are The Symptoms Of Lyme Disease?
- Two-inch rash resembling a bull's eye or solid patch (60-80 percent of cases)
- Chills and fever
- Stiff Neck, muscles, and joint pain
- Swollen glands