FAIRFIELD COUNTY, Conn. -- This year could be a bad one for Lyme disease and other tick-borne illnesses in Connecticut, as an unusually high number of ticks have so far tested positive for the bacterium that causes Lyme, according to the Connecticut Post.
Officials at the Connecticut Agricultural Experiment Station told the Connecticut Post that so far in March, 231 ticks have been submitted for testing, of which 37 percent have tested positive for the bacterium that causes Lyme disease. Last year only 14 ticks were submitted, and only two the year before that, and the average infection rate is 28 percent, according to the Connecticut Post.
The most common tick-borne illness in Connecticut is Lyme disease, and officials said that the high number of positive cases is surprising, the Connecticut Post reported. Other possible diseases transmitted by ticks include babesiosis and anaplasmosis, according to the Connecticut Post.
The very warm winter that the area has experienced could be one reason for the abundance of disease-carrying ticks, the Connecticut Post reported. Another could be the large population of white-footed mice, which carry the bacterium that causes Lyme disease and spread it to ticks, according to the Connecticut Post.
Officials told the Connecticut Post that the high number of ticks won't necessarily mean that there will be more people with Lyme disease this year, so long as residents remember to use bug spray, check for ticks, and contact their doctor if they experience symptoms.