Lyme Disease

Lyme disease is the most common tick-borne illness in the U.S., with nearly one-third of the nation’s cases occurring in New York. Each year, this emerging disease increases its range, putting more people in harm’s way. In the Hudson Valley, ticks can also infect people with babesiosis and anaplasmosis. While residents are becoming aware of the threat ticks pose, there is less knowledge about how environmental conditions magnify disease risk.

The Latest

Lyme disease’s worst enemy? It might be foxes

It is August, the month when a new generation of black-legged ticks that transmit Lyme and other diseases are hatching. On forest floors, suburban estates and urban parks, they are looking for their first blood meal. 

mouse

Why this adorable mouse is to blame for the spread of Lyme disease

White-footed mice — known for their wide eyes and ears, long tails and snow-white bellies and the feet from which they get their name — are often overlooked by humans, hiding out by the billions in U.S. forests, shrubby thickets and even wooded wetlands. But there's one creature that knows them well: the tick.

Tick towns: Researchers target neighborhoods in Lyme effort

With a bumper crop of blacklegged ticks possible this season, researchers in a Lyme disease-plagued part of New York's Hudson Valley are tackling tick problems across entire neighborhoods with fungal sprays and bait boxes. The $8.8 million, five-year project aims to find out if treating 24 neighborhoods in Dutchess County for ticks, also known as deer ticks, can significantly reduce cases of Lyme disease and other tick-borne illnesses.

With a tick boom, it’s not just Lyme disease you have to fear

Everybody knows about Lyme disease. But experts say the Northern United States may be in for a bad tick season this summer, raising concerns about Lyme and other scary tick-borne diseases, including the Powassan virus, which causes encephalitis and can leave people with permanent neurological damage.

Related Projects

The Tick Project

The Tick Project is testing whether environmental interventions can prevent tick-borne diseases in our communities. The need for prevention is stronger than ever, with expanding tick populations and more than 300,000 Americans diagnosed with Lyme disease each year.

tick collecting

Lyme Disease

Different species of tick hosts tend to have different probabilities of transmitting an infection to a feeding tick. In eastern and central North America, the host most likely to transmit an infection to a feeding tick is the white-footed mouse (Peromyscus leucopus), which infects between 40% and 90% of feeding larvae.

Biodiversity, Community Ecology, and the Dilution Effect

Biodiversity can protect human health by reducing human exposure to diseases transmitted from wildlife. Environmental changes, such as habitat fragmentation, can increase disease risk by reducing both predators and biodiversity.

Cary Institute of Ecosystem Studies | Millbrook, New York 12545 | Tel (845) 677-5343

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