Hot Summer And COVID-19 Could Lead To Rise In Cases Of Lyme Disease And EEE

This spring, COVID-19 caused the shutdown of many businesses and organizations, leaving people with much more free time than usual. With not many options to occupy themselves while still remaining social distant, people began spending more time outside.

Spring is also the time of year when the tick-borne diseases tend appear. There may be a surge in cases of diseases spread by ticks as people spend more time outside in warmer weather. Dr. Sam Telford, a professor of Infectious Disease and Global Health at the Cummings School of Veterinary Medicine at Tufts University in Massachusetts, has been collecting ticks from a variety of areas to test them for infectious diseases like Lyme disease, which affects both horses and humans.

The majority of tick-borne disease cases occur between June and August; dry weather can shorten the lifespan of ticks. Warm summer weather can lead to a surge in mosquito populations, which carry their own set of diseases, including Eastern equine encephalitis (EEE). EEE comes in three-year cycles, says Telford.

Many diseases carried by ticks and mosquitoes affect both humans and horses, as well as other companion animals. It’s imperative that animals and humans be as protected as possible, which would include limiting standing water, checking for ticks daily, administering appropriate vaccines and applying insect repellents.

Read more at Boston25.

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