The severity of tick-borne illnesses has further come into the light recently. New York lawmakers have voiced their disappointment with governor Andrew Cuomo and his lack of investment into tick-borne illness research, prevention, and treatment.
It is no secret that Connecticut is the Lyme capital of the United States. But did you know that New York is the third highest-ranking state in the country for Lyme disease diagnoses? One report states that over 95,000 cases have been confirmed since 1986. What will it take for the public and elected officials to start taking this matter more seriously? We believe the first step is education. People need a full view of what is currently happening all over the country and right here in our state.
Why Tick-borne Disease Funding Matters
Lyme disease has become an epidemic in the U.S.; it's estimated that 300,000 Americans are diagnosed with the illness each year. It is the fastest growing vector-borne illness, according to the CDC and WHO. Funding towards tick-borne illnesses will not only help treat the problem, but it can also aid in preventing the problem. Governor Cuomo's lack of investment in this matter is an act of negligence. That is especially true when we consider how severely people can be affected by Lyme disease.
Lyme disease and other tick-borne illnesses can affect every part of the human body. It most commonly affects the brain, nervous system, heart, and joints. People can experience the following list of symptoms.
● Decline in Cognitive Functions
● Mild to Severe Rashes
● Fatigue and Malaise
● Stiff and Swollen Joints
● Headaches or Migraines
● Sleep Disruption
● Light Sensitivity
● Mood Swings
● Chronic Pain
The list could continue to go on. The list does not mention conditions caused by the illness, such as Lyme carditis and neurological symptoms. Studies have shown that Lyme Disease can cause alterations in the immune system.
All of this could happen to you or a loved one if a tick bite goes untreated. We as a nation must take action and continue to educate ourselves on the matter.
What You Need to Know
As we have previously stated in this article and many others, Connecticut is the Lyme disease capital of North America. To help further send this message home, let us share some statistics with you. The following data only reflects the number of Lyme disease cases and not of other tick-borne illnesses. Please keep in mind that the number of those affected by tick-borne illnesses is much greater than these numbers. The following information is based on data released by the Connecticut Department of Public Health and information from LymeDisease.org.
The most recent report from 2018 states that there were 1,853 total cases of Lyme disease. That amount is split into two categories confirmed cases and probable cases. Out of those cases, 1,266 were confirmed, and 587 were probable.
Now, let us take a look at the top eight counties and cities with the most amount of total cases.
New London (387 Total Cases)
New Haven (333 Total Cases)
Fairfield (289 Total Cases)
Hartford (216 Total Cases)
Windham (151 Total Cases)
Tolland (138 Total Cases
Litchfield (131 Total Cases)
Norwich (59 Total Cases)
As we have stated above, these numbers only reflect Lyme disease cases. The numbers would be much higher if we included other types of tick-borne diseases. Information is more scarce on these diseases. The public should also be aware that often when an individual had Lyme disease, they can also have a co-infection. A co-infection refers to when an individual carries more than one pathogen species. That means a person can have Lyme disease and another tick-borne illness such as the following.
● RMSF (Rocky Mountain Spotted Fever)
● Relapsing Fever
To learn more about Lyme disease co-infections, visit LymeDisease.org. You will find a plethora of information that will educate you on the impact that Lyme disease has. Knowledge is the key to the prevention and treatment of tick-borne diseases.
We can at least happily report that the total number of cases had improved in 2018 compared to the previous year. In 2017, the total number of Lyme disease cases was reported to be 2,022. Out of those cases, 1,363 were confirmed, and 659 of them were probable. The town of Fairfield, Connecticut, had the highest amount of total cases with a whopping 416. The town of New Haven came into a close second place with 374 total cases. Over half of those total cases turned out to be confirmed cases.
How You Can Prevent Tick-borne Diseases
Although treatment is a viable option for those who have already been affected by Lyme disease, prevention is where our focus should be. To help save you or a loved one from the devastating effects of tick-borne illnesses, here are a few ways you can prevent them.
Just like mosquito repellent sprays, companies make them for ticks as well. You can find them wherever repellent sprays are sold.
Clothing that covers a majority of the body can be helpful when trying to prevent tick bites. Light-colored clothing can also help individuals see ticks on their person easier.
Every time you or a child comes in from the outdoors, do a thorough examination. Look for any sign of a tick bite. Typically, these bites will look like mosquito bites. They are red and can look like a bull's-eye.
Removing the source of the problem is one of the most efficient ways to prevent tick-borne diseases. Extermination is the best option if you are currently experiencing a tick infestation around your property.
If you are having a tick infestation problem around your property, we would like to help! Are located in any of these following areas?
If you said yes and are interested in exterminating ticks around your property, contact Tick Control, LLC! We are the best tick and flea exterminators in the state of Connecticut.