WEOS Finger Lakes Public Radio

Fighting tick-borne illnesses

May 31, 2018
Originally published on May 21, 2018 5:40 pm

The state is stepping up efforts to control the tick population in an attempt to reduce the spread of Lyme disease.

That includes expanding deer treatment feeding stations that automatically apply tick treatment to deer as they eat.

And launching a new information program targeted at high-risk groups such as hunters and hikers.

Head of Infectious Diseases at the Rochester General Hospital, Dr. Edward Walsh says it would be beneficial if that campaign is expanded to include everyone, especially to those who live in areas where deer are present.

“You’re at risk, sure.  You just have to go out and mow your lawn, and that’s good enough exposure,” he said.

Walsh, says in rare instances, Lyme disease can cause death due to heart block.

But there are other diseases ticks can carry which can be lethal.

“There are other illnesses that these same ticks do carry that could potentially kill you,” he said.

Dr. Walsh says he’s seen more patients and inpatients diagnosed with Lyme disease over the past several years.

He adds Lyme is an acute illness with a variety of manifestations that differ from patient to patient.

Copyright 2018 WXXI News. To see more, visit WXXI News.