Many People In New York At Risk For Serious Disease From Bacterial Infection
As we patiently wait for the (hopefully) last remnants of winter to move along here in New York, spring and summer bring a new threat. As the temperatures begin to rise around the state, tick season will get underway. Ticks are not only a threat to the animals they feed on, but they also pose a danger to humans too.
When Is Tick Season In New York State?
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.
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.
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