WASHINGTON – A recently-released report from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention shows the number of people getting diseases transmitted by mosquito, tick and flea bites has more than tripled in the United States between 2004 and 2016.
That includes nine new germs spread by mosquitoes and ticks that were discovered between 2004 and 2016.
And even though there has been a marked increase in transmitted diseases, the number being reported may actually be lower than the actual cases that are out there because many infections are not reported or recognized.
The most common diseases caused by mosquito, tick or flea bites are Lyme, West Nile, Zika, and dengue.
In Chautauqua County, health officials are continuing to monitor lyme disease, saying that the number of ticks carrying the disease is on the rise locally.
“The percentage of Lyme infected ticks collected in Chautauqua County continues to rise so resident should definitely take precautions when out on local trails/natural areas particularly in areas with large deer populations or trails frequented by deer,” explained Mark Stow, Chautauqua County Director of Environmental Health Services via an email to WRA.
Though the CDC stops short of suggesting that people cancel outdoor plans, health officials are emphasizing the increasing importance of EPA registered bug repellents to protect everyone — especially children — from outdoor pests.
The CDC also recommends doing the following to protect against mosquito, tick and flea bites:
- Wear long-sleeved shirts and long pants
- Treat items, such as boots, pants, socks and tents with permethrin or use permethrin-treated clothing and gear
- Take steps to control ticks and fleas on pets
- Find and remove ticks daily from family members and pets
- Take steps to control mosquitoes, ticks and fleas inside your home.