lyme disease

Here's a dubious Granite State superlative: New Hampshire has the third highest incidence of Lyme disease in the country following Maine and Vermont!

Fairfax County / Flickr/CC

Twenty years ago, it was not considered a big problem in New Hampshire, but today – these little black-legged bugs are seen as a major threat to people, pets and wildlife.  We’ll get the latest on where their populations are expanding and on tick-borne illnesses, primarily – but not exclusively -- Lyme disease. We’ll also look the state’s new plan to address this.

Jim Gathany / PD-USGOV

Tick season is upon us. It’s time to take precautions against these little potential carriers of Lyme Disease. And while you’re tucking your pant-legs into your socks, one little robot is waiting to comb through your backyard and capture and kill these little critters. For more on this, we turn to David Brooks. He’s the author of the weekly Granite Geek science column for the Nashua Telegraph and many a geeky blog-post at Granite Geek.org.

Via U of Iowa

Public health officials in northern New England say 2014 was another big year for Lyme disease in the region.

Maine Center for Disease Control and Prevention Director Sheila Pinette says the state is likely to exceed last year's record high of 1,384 cases of the illness. Vermont officials say their state is on track for its second- or third-highest total on record following the 2013 high of 671. New Hampshire officials say the Granite State's numbers are in line with recent years, which included a record-high in 2013.

Marko Kivelä via flickr Creative Commons

We love answering listener's questions and recently we received one that is a common query at both the Audubon and the Forest Society.

Why is it that some years there are tons of acorns and other years hardly any?

More Ticks Means More Concern About Lyme Disease

Aug 18, 2014
beeldmark / Flickr/CC

Lyme disease: caused by a bacterium called Borrelia burgdorferi, and transmitted by the tiny black-legged tick, it’s an infection that first causes fever, chills and flu-like symptoms.

John Tann Flickr CC

As the tick population continues to explode in the Northeast, the number of cases of Lyme disease continues to grow. It’s a big issue in New Hampshire as we have thousands of cases of Lyme each year, but experts say the number is actually much higher than what is ever reported. There are also many other tick-borne diseases that are being misdiagnosed and treated incorrectly.

 Related: Things You Should Know About Ticks 

Tick season is upon us once again, and New Hampshire health officials are advising people to wear insect repellent and protective clothing to avoid being bitten by them and potentially exposed to Lyme disease.

The Department of Health and Human Services says in 2013, 1,689 cases of Lyme disease were identified in the state, with the highest rates of disease in Hillsborough, Rockingham, and Strafford counties.

The greatest risk for Lyme disease is between May and August.

Symptoms include fever, headache, fatigue, and a bulls-eye-like rash.

Sara Plourde / NHPR

With tick season in full swing - and this year being described as the worst in recent history - the risk of tick bites and tick-borne infection is high. Read through the graphic below to learn more about ticks, the infections they can carry, and how to prevent being infected yourself.

Brian M / Flickr CC

Health and environmental officials say New Hampshire is entering the highest risk time of year for exposure to Lyme disease, and the ticks could be especially bad this year.

“If you have to, move to Aruba,” says Alan Eaton, Biologist with the UNH Cooperative Extension, “Get out of here for the next month of six weeks or so.”

Wikimedia Commons

Here's a dubious Granite State superlative: New Hampshire has the third highest incidence of Lyme disease in the country following Delaware and Connecticut!

Southern New Hampshire is prime tick habitat. Deer ticks - not dog ticks - are THE vector for human Lyme disease. Two-toned solid colored deer ticks, also called "black-legged ticks" are smaller than familiar mottled brown dog ticks.

A series by Boston Globe reporter Beth Daley explores how the tick-borne illness, Lyme disease continues to spread across the Northeast, all while doctors are increasingly divided on treatments, and the public is in many cases bitterly frustrated by the medical establishment’s response and the lack of ready answers.

Guest

surroundsound5000 via Flickr Creative Commons

The loudest and largest debate in health-care over these past few years has centered on coverage and how it ought or ought not to be extended to millions of uninsured Americans.  But for some Americans, coverage isn’t the problem – the problem is getting doctors to agree on the diagnosis and treatment for baffling, or inconclusively researched conditions.

Living with Lyme

Sep 17, 2012
fairfaxcounty via flickr creative commons

Recently, we learned on this program about the other tick-borne pathogens we should be worrying about beyond Lyme Disease. In the meantime, more and more people in New Hampshire are contracting Lyme. It’s a trend we’ve noticed even on Facebook, where many of our friends are posting about their positive test results, including Word of Mouth contributor Adam McCune…so we asked him to share his story.

A surge in occurrence of Lyme disease is predicted for the Eastern U.S. three years after bumper acorn crops in 2009 and 2010 and following virtually NO acorns last autumn in 2011. Why is that? How do acorn crops influence rates of human illness? 

Oak forests demonstrate the ecological ripple effects when bumper acorn crops cause a population boom in mice which translates into an increase in ticks and a delayed-onset spike in reported cases of human Lyme disease.