PREVIOUS QUESTION:

 

NEXT QUESTION:

 

What affects the prevalence of Lyme disease?

ANSWER

While a worldwide warming trend has made more northern areas like Canada, Maine, and Minnesota hospitable to ticks, the population of deer carrying the ticks probably plays a bigger role.

Development led to record low numbers of deer early in the last century, but the deer population has rebounded as reforestation took place over several decades, meaning the tick population has increased and expanded as well.

Deer and white-footed mice, which also transmit Lyme disease to ticks that bite them, also are moving closer to humans as their habitat disappears.

In some areas, an increase in the mouse population may lead to more cases of Lyme disease, but that may vary in different regions.

In addition, warmer weather and mild winters may bring more people outside, raising their chances of being bitten, particularly in Lyme-prone areas. That doesn’t mean you should be afraid of outdoor activities, as long as you take precautions to avoid tick bites.

From: Lyme Disease: Important Facts to Know WebMD Medical Reference

SOURCES:

CDC website.

Alan Taege, MD, Department of Infectious Disease, Cleveland Clinic.

EPA: “Climate Change Indicators in the United States.”

American College of Rheumatology.

Infectious Diseases Society of America.

Eisen, R. , March 2016. J Med Entomol

Paul Mead, MD, chief of epidemiology and surveillance activity, Bacterial Diseases Branch, CDC.

John Aucott, MD, assistant professor of medicine, Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine; director, Johns Hopkins Lyme Disease Clinical Research Center.

Press release, Valneva. 

Reviewed by Neha Pathak on April 25, 2018

SOURCES:

CDC website.

Alan Taege, MD, Department of Infectious Disease, Cleveland Clinic.

EPA: “Climate Change Indicators in the United States.”

American College of Rheumatology.

Infectious Diseases Society of America.

Eisen, R. , March 2016. J Med Entomol

Paul Mead, MD, chief of epidemiology and surveillance activity, Bacterial Diseases Branch, CDC.

John Aucott, MD, assistant professor of medicine, Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine; director, Johns Hopkins Lyme Disease Clinical Research Center.

Press release, Valneva. 

Reviewed by Neha Pathak on April 25, 2018

NEXT QUESTION:

How do you know if you've been bitten by a tick carrying Lyme disease?

WAS THIS ANSWER HELPFUL

"ALEXA, ASK WEBMD"

THIS TOOL DOES NOT PROVIDE MEDICAL ADVICE. It is intended for general informational purposes only and does not address individual circumstances. It is not a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis or treatment and should not be relied on to make decisions about your health. Never ignore professional medical advice in seeking treatment because of something you have read on the WebMD Site. If you think you may have a medical emergency, immediately call your doctor or dial 911.

    This tool does not provide medical advice. See additional information.

    Other Answers On: