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

Tick-borne disease ecology

Video

In this video, produced by Harvard University's Center for the Environment as a resource for the Planetary Health Alliance, Rick Ostfeld explains the ecology of Lyme disease. Discover how acorns and white-footed mice amplify disease risk, why predators like foxes make good neighbors, and the impact climate change and forest fragmentation have on the spread of tick-borne disease. 

lyme map

Lyme disease is set to explode and we still don’t have a vaccine

A new prediction says 2017 and 2018 will see major Lyme disease outbreaks in new areas. This could lead to lifelong health consequences, so where's the vaccine?

black-legged tick

Climate change could be increasing the footprint of Lyme disease

One implication of the warm weather is that it attracts mice, which also harbor the ticks and bacteria that cause Lyme disease: 2017 is expected to be a very risky Lyme disease season.

ticks

Forbidding forecast for Lyme disease in the Northeast

Rick Ostfeld and Felicia Keesing have been studying Lyme disease and ways to stop it for more than 20 years. The couple has come up with a way to predict how bad a Lyme season will be a full year in advance.

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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