Ticks are spreading, and down in the article, you guessed it, the cause is speculated to be global warming aka climate change.
From CBS in Charlotte, worry over a one year increase. Excerpts:
CHAPEL HILL, N.C. (AP) — In the trees and grasses of the South, there are a growing number of unwanted visitors that at best are an itchy nuisance and at worst can carry debilitating diseases: Ticks.
Public health officials say that numbers of reported cases of diseases like Lyme disease and Rocky Mountain spotted fever are not yet alarming and have not yet shown a definitive trend upward from a national perspective.
“Ticks are spreading, but usually not like wildfire,” said Joseph Piseman, chief of tickborne disease activity for the federal Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. “The spread is kind of slow but sure.”
The Lone Star tick carries a flu-like infection, and Apperson said the main reason for its emergence in the region is a larger population of deer for it to feed upon. Scientists aren’t so sure about why other species are invading, however.
For the most part, scientists are not yet examining why the populations have been spreading, said entomologist Bruce A. Harrison, who studied ticks for the state of North Carolina for nearly 20 years. He hypothesized it may be at least in part caused by climate change. As temperatures change, animals that are food for ticks migrate — often because the plants they eat are now growing elsewhere.
While the CDC hasn’t reported a spike in tick-borne diseases, officials in North Carolina have noticed an increase this year compared to a year earlier. Rocky Mountain spotted fever cases are up 50 percent this year, said state public health veterinarian Carl Williams. And while there typically wasn’t a single positive Lyme disease test 10 years ago, now there are a few each year, Mekeel said.
Like with tornadoes, we now have doppler radar, and storm chasers and live reporting, now that we have a national database for Lyme disease and constant reminders in the news, is it any wonder there is an increase in cases?
Story submitted by WUWT reader George Ellis