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'Summer Of Ticks' Puts Some Towns In, Around Westchester Under Siege

A look at tick sizes compared to the size of a dime (upper right corner).
A look at tick sizes compared to the size of a dime (upper right corner). Photo Credit: Centers For Disease Control

The warning signs that 2017 would be a terrible year for ticks came after a warm winter helped spark a spike in the number of deer ticks.

A surge in the population of the mice population also led to a higher risk for Lyme disease cases, reported NPR.

Now, in the height of tick season, it's clear the warnings are now being realized.

The Westchester Medical Center has diagnosed 21 cases of the tick-borne contagion babesiosis this past year, according to The New York Times. Babesiosis can cause malaria-like symptoms and may be deadly in some cases. Before 2001, babesiosis was not found in Westchester, according to The Times.

Calling Southampton on Long Island "a town under siege," The Times cited several anecdotes, including a mother finding a ticket attached to her 7-year-old child's buttocks after a brief walk outside and a doctor pulling a tick off a woman's eyeball.

The Times story, "It's High Time for Ticks, Which Are Spreading Diseases Farther," cites moves to conserve wooded areas and the expansion of suburbs for the surge in ticks, in addition to thriving deer and mice populations.

The story quoted a research biologist who said more and more people are at risk for exposure to ticks in areas that didn't have ticks in the past.

Lyme disease is transmitted to humans through the bite of infected black-legged ticks. Typical symptoms include fever, headache, fatigue, and a characteristic skin rash called erythema migrans.

For a look at symptoms and signs of Lyme disease, check this page from the Centers for Disease Control.

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