Lone Star Ticks Expanding Range Into Northeast, Report Says

(CNN/CBS) — The climate crisis is making us more vulnerable to ticks in an unprecedented and growing threat to public health, according to a new report. Bacterial and protozoan tick-borne diseases doubled in the United States between 2004 and 2016, the report notes, and in 2017, more than 90% of the 60,000 vector-borne diseases in the United States were linked to these particular bloodsucking bugs. The warmer temperatures brought by the climate crisis, in addition to ecological changes and reforestation, have extended the bugs’ range into regions that had not seen certain types of ticks for many decades, if ever. And the report published in the New England Journal of Medicine Tuesday warns that we should be “bracing for the worst.” The lone star tick, a tick distinguished by a white dot — a “lone star” — on the back of the female of the species, had been commonly found in the South. Global warming has made more regions tick-friendly. Now it also lives in the Upper Midwest, in the Northeast, and has even moved into eastern Canada. Warmer temperatures may also extend their “active season,” researchers said, and make them much more abundant. In 2019, established lone star tick populations were identified on Cape Cod, Nantucket and Martha’s Vineyard. “Current environmental and climatic conditions favor the establishment and expansion of lone star ticks along the southern New England coast,” the report s...
Source: WBZ-TV - Breaking News, Weather and Sports for Boston, Worcester and New Hampshire - Category: Consumer Health News Authors: Tags: Boston News Health Syndicated CBSN Boston Lone Star Tick ticks Source Type: news

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