State researchers are reporting peak tick activity and a higher than average rate of the agent that causes Lyme disease this season.
The Tick Testing Program at the Connecticut Agricultural Experiment Station (CAES), which tests ticks sent in from across the state, is seeing a higher than average rate of infection with Borrelia burgdoferi, which causes Lyme disease.
“We have received over 2,600 ticks so far this year for testing and greater than 40% have tested positive for Lyme disease spirochetes. This is roughly 10% higher than what we have typically seen over the last five years,” said Dr. Goudarz Molaei, who directs the CAES Tick Testing Program.
Researchers are also reporting high tick infection rates with Babesia microti, the causative agent of babesiosis, a malaria-like illness and Anaplasma phagocytophilum, the causative agent of human granulocytic anaplasmosis.
Experts warn that if you get a tick bite the likelihood of contracting an illness like Lyme disease is quite high.
Lyme disease is the most commonly reported tick-borne disease in the US, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
Last year the Connecticut Department of Public Health reported 2,022 cases of Lyme disease. Symptoms include fever, headache, fatigue and a skin rash. If left untreated, the disease can cause serious joint and nervous system damage.
For more information on ticks and the Tick Testing Program, click here.