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Lyme Disease Likely To Spike In The Northeast This Year

Lyme Disease Likely To Spike In The Northeast This Year
4/9/2012 10:26 AM ET

Disease experts are warning that this year's early spring could mark a significant jump in Lyme disease cases. According to researchers in Maine, mild temperatures could create ideal conditions for an increase of ticks reaching the nymph phase of their life cycle, which is when they are most likely to transmit the disease to humans.

"What we know is that Lyme disease is pretty much throughout the state of Maine and we're seeing really significant amounts every year," says epidemiologist Stephen Sears to seacoastonline.com.

"And it's the nymph that we tend to think carries more of the Lyme organism. All of them can, but that's the one we see more in the summertime."

Richard Ostfeld of the Cary Institute of Ecosystem Studies in Millbrook, N.Y agrees, noting: "While adult ticks can transmit Lyme, they are responsible for a small fraction of tick-borne disease, with spring-summer nymphs posing more of a human health threat."

by RTT Staff Writer

For comments and feedback: editorial@rttnews.com

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