Health experts: tickborne Lyme Disease to reach all time high
If you plan on being outdoors this summer you may want to watch where you’re standing. Health experts are predicting this season to be the worst ever for tick borne diseases.
Back in May, ABC 57 first told you about a deadly tick borne disease on the rise called the Powassan, or Pow Virus. Now, the deadly tick virus and disease problem could get worse with even more surviving ticks.
It takes just seconds to come into contact with a tick, especially in a wooded area. Now, the CDC expects Lyme Disease to hit an all-time high over the next few months because ticks are living longer with these milder temperatures. In fact, the CDC predicts 300,000 new cases every year, which is now three times the rate than two decades ago.
How does Lyme Disease spread in the first place? Ticks latch onto white footed mice which are major carriers of Lyme Disease. The ticks transmit the disease from the mice to people when they latch on to human skin. Local experts with a lab testing agency say it’s as easy as walking near a wooded area and then walking away from it that can bring those ticks near your home.
“They attach to the deer and then what happens is people and animals come in contact with the ticks from the deer and then bring them into yards or they can get on their dogs. Check children or animals for ticks, especially if you’ve been in like a wooded area,” said Barb Truhler, Owner of Any Lab Test Now.
As we mentioned, the Pow Virus is another deadly threat among tick bites this season.
Powassan virus is transmitted by deer ticks that carry Lyme Disease. Experts warn we could see more cases of the deadly disease this year because warmer winters have led to an increased tick population. One notrable difference from the Pow Virus versus Lyme disease is that it takes Lyme at least 24 hours to be transmitted from tick to person whereas Pow is transmitted in just 15 minutes.
A few things to keep in mind, anyone bitten by an infected tick can get the Pow Virus. There is no cure yet and so far, 15% of people who get the virus could die, and half will have lasting neurological damage. Right now, the disease is most prevalent in the northeast but experts fear it will continue to spread. Thus far, 75 cases have been reported in the last decade but experts fear there have been many unreported cases.