Summer on the North Fork comes with warnings about ticks and concerns about the illnesses they can transmit, such as Lyme disease. But lately other lesser-known tick-borne ailments are grabbing the attention of East End locals, who reach out to experts because they are concerned the situation is worsening.
A rare and potentially fatal tick-borne illness is becoming increasingly prevalent throughout the Northeast, according to the Centers for Disease Control.
Cases of the Neuroinvasive Powassan Virus, or POW, are few and far between but are often serious and becoming more common — both in terms of diagnosis and notoriety. Earlier this month Powassan, which can cause brain inflammation, caused a stir in Connecticut when state officials there announced the disease is starting to show up in more deer ticks in Bridgeport and Branford.
Reporter Cyndi Murray makes a sour face while biting into a lime outside the newsroom last Thursday. (Credit: Joseph Pinciaro)
Chances are if you don’t have Lyme disease you know someone who does.
Taking the necessary steps to prevent tick bites when you venture into the great outdoors becomes second nature here when the weather warms up. We all know the drill — wear light clothing, tuck your pants into your socks, conduct full-body checks for ticks after a day in the park, etc. Or just avoid wooded areas all together. (more…)
A female deer tick (Credit: Dan Gilrein, Cornell Cooperative Extension of Suffolk County)
Chronic Lyme disease patients are now one step closer to being able to access a wider range of treatments, as Gov. Andrew Cuomo last month signed a new law protecting physicians who use treatment options outside federal guidelines.
As with any disease, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention had developed guidelines for treating Lyme, but the CDC guidelines have long created dilemmas for doctors who want to help Lyme patients, since rendering treatment outside the guidelines could leave doctors liable for investigations by the New York State Office of Professional Medical Conduct. (more…)