CommonHealth: Lyme Disease May Hit New Highs This Season
This year’s mild winter, while free of excessive shoveling and snow plows, could bring some unexpected surprises this spring. Think early blooming flowers, a fierce allergy season… and Lyme disease.
While our somewhat spring-like winter isn’t to blame for the increased risk of Lyme disease, it is to blame for the the increased risk of exposure to the disease.
“This past winter was record-breaking mild, and when you get records, when you have extremes in weather events, to some degree all bets are off,” Dr. Richard Ostfeld told WBUR’s CommonHealth. “We don’t really know whether the nymphs are going to start their activity earlier this year than in normal years. So it’s remotely possible they could be out as early as April. They’re cold-blooded creatures, so things [speed] up in terms of their metabolism and development when things are warmer. So it could be a bit earlier than usual. I wouldn’t wait to be vigilant. The time is now.”
We take a closer look.
- Carey Goldberg, co-host, WBUR’s CommonHealth blog
- Dr. Richard Ostfeld, disease ecologist at the Cary Institute of Ecosystem Studies
- CommonHealth: Bad Lyme Disease Spring Predicted For Northeast, Begin Vigilance Now
- The Ultimate Lyme Disease Map
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