Early Tick Season and Increase of Lyme Disease in NY

Blacklegged tick, Photo Courtesy of Jim Occi

New York Post’s, Brooke Steinberg, 03.07.24, published online, “Tick season is kicking off early this year — experts warn of Lyme disease risk.” Steinberg states that many northern states (NH, MN, NY) in the US are reporting tick activity earlier than usual this year, and warn that it could be a high risk year for ticks and tick-borne diseases. Mild winter temperatures are proposed as being responsible for this earlier than usual tick activity.

According to the Environmental Protection Agency(EPA), cases of Lyme disease have been rising across the US for decades due to shorter winters and other environmental factors which allow ticks to be active longer throughout the year. A Statista 2022 report, shows that Rhode Island, Vermont and Maine had the highest incidence rates for Lyme disease in 2022, with New York 6th highest. 

State Health Commissioner of New York, Dr. James McDonald, warns the public that it only takes a single tick bite to result in serious illness and debilitation, and that practicing tick-bite prevention is key.

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