Lyme disease spread in humans | the tick-borne disease that’s spreading fast

 Lyme disease spread in humans | the tick-borne disease that’s spreading fast.

 Lyme disease spread in humans – Out of the 642,000 total cases of mosquito-, tick-, and flea-borne illnesses tracked in the 13-year study period, 77 percent were from ticks. And of those, 82 percent were cases of Lyme disease, a debilitating and still mysterious illness. 

Between 2004 and 2016, the researchers found, reported Lyme cases increased from 19,804 to 36,429. (But health officials think the real number of Lyme illnesses is closer to 300,000 every year.)And one reason Lyme cases have crept up is that Lyme season has been getting longer, as the geography in which ticks can thrive and survive has expanded.

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Lyme disease spread in humans – This at least partially due to climate change. “Temperature is very important,” Petersen told reporters in a press call yesterday. “If you increase the temperature, in general, tick populations can move farther north, expanding their range as well as increasing the length of tick season — which puts more people at risk for a longer period of time.”

Lyme disease typically peaks in May through July, when the ticks that carry the disease are most active. More than 90 percent of Lyme cases pop up in the Northeast, Upper Midwest, and mid-Atlantic.

Lyme disease spreads in humans when people get bitten by tiny vampires | Lyme disease spread in humans

Lyme is the most common vector-borne disease in the US, more common than West Nile or Zika virus. But unlike Zika, which is transmitted from mosquitoes to humans, the bacteria that causes Lyme, Borrelia burgdorferi, reaches people through tick bites after moving through a chain of other species.

Lyme disease spread in humans | B. burgdorferi typically live in mice, chipmunks, birds, and deer in wooded areas. And these are all animals that ticks feast on. The tick is in fact quite vampire-like — not an insect, but in the same family as the spider, mite, and scorpion — and progresses through its three life stages fueled by the blood of mammals.

That includes humans. They’re attracted to the warmth and carbon dioxide we give off. Though they can’t jump or fly, they typically crawl onto us (and other animals) when we brush against them — walking through tall grass, playing in fields. If the ticks are carrying Lyme or other pathogens, they can infect us when they bite. (The precise amount of time a tick needs to be attached to the skin to transmit Lyme isn’t known — though many claim it takes 24 to 36 hours. What is clear: The risk of infection increases the longer a tick is attached.)

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