Insect-borne illnesses on the rise in the US — CDC

Here is how the black-legged and the Lone Star ticks compare in size

According to the recent CDC report, the number of Americans infected with Lyme disease is likely eight to 10 times higher than the number reported, underlining the urgent need to help state and local health departments identify and treat those who become infected.

Most doctors prescribe antibiotics for tick bites, says Stevens, no matter what kind of tick it is.

The Center for Disease Control recently reported that mosquito and tick bite diseases have tripled. Nearly 60 percent of these were tick-related, as humans expand into their natural habitat.

Mosquito-related illnesses have been marked by virus epidemics, including West Nile, the most commonly transmitted in the United States, according to the CDC.

"We're just trying to help people realize what they can do to prevent Lyme disease, what they can do to prevent tick bites, and recognizing signs and symptoms so that they can go to their health-care provider in a timely fashion, if they have those signs and symptoms of Lyme disease", Joan Black, a KFL&A Public Health nurse on the communicable disease team, said. Keith Clay and his lab are working to develop a way to detect if the state will have an outbreak of tick and mosquito-borne diseases.

The CDC also included information to protect yourself from ticks. Spray your clothes with permethrin, some clothing already comoes pre-treatd with this stuff! "The sooner you remove a tick, if it's infected with the bacteria that causes Lyme disease, the lower your chances for getting Lyme disease".

If you love muffins and hate ticks, you might want to look away because things are about to get pretty grim.

Clay says IN is gaining new ticks and with them come the diseases they carry. "We can also eliminate mosquito-breeding sites by emptying containers around the house, which hold small amounts of water, which can be a place for mosquitos to lay eggs". "Sometimes you can get really bad joint problems with Lyme disease and that can be disfiguring", said infectious disease expert Dr. Calvin Williams.

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