New York city authorities issued a “health alert” earlier this week as tick-borne conditions have skyrocketed in five of the city’s boroughs. Officials expect this year’s tick season to continue the trend of infections if population is not educated.
Authorities also said that they would create “tick surveillance” units in 21 locations across the city this summer.
The alert is aimed at local hospitals chiefly in order for doctors to keep an eye on symptoms that may indicated a tick-borne disease. New York is also running an awareness campaign to prevent residents from contracting life-threatening conditions from ticks populating city parks and wilderness areas.
Doctors noted that most Lyme disease cases and other tick-linked conditions happened after people strolled in Long Island and upstate NY. In other words, ticks are especially dangerous outside of the city, but five boroughs saw a jump in tick-borne conditions in recent years.
Lyme disease cases jumped nearly threefold in the city over the last five years. Last year, 946 New Yorkers developed the disease, which is a slight increase from 2015’s 941 cases. In 2014, there were only 848 reported cases.
The most affected boroughs by the disease are Bronx (51 cases), Queens (128 cases), Manhattan (322 cases), Staten Island (123 cases), and Brooklyn (322 cases).
Cases of Tick-Borne Disease on the Rise
Officials warned that the ticks on Staten Island have multiplied exponentially after an abrupt increase in the deer population on the island.
Lyme disease’s symptoms include the telltale bullseye rash around the bite, fever, chills, fatigue, and headache. The disease is usually carried by deer ticks aka blacklegged ticks.
However, NYC ticks can carry other diseases and parasites such as Ehrlichiosis, Babesiosis parasites, and Anaplasmosis. Official reports show that these conditions are also on the rise in the NYC area. Moreover, some strange tick-borne diseases are making a debut in the city such as the Powassan virus and a lone star tick-carried mystery disease that makes patients allergic to red meat for the rest of their lives.
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