Lone Star tick migrates to Long Island

July 7, 2006

An aggressive type of tick known as the Lone Star is raising new concerns about Lyme disease on Long Island, N.Y.

New York state health officials say the Lone Star, which migrated from the southeastern United States, has gained a foothold in parks and woodlands and is increasing in numbers, Newsday reports.

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the Lone Star is more dangerous than deer ticks because it can detect a host, including humans, at a distance. Deer ticks wait for direct contact to attach to a host.

In recent years thousands of people have contracted Lyme disease on Long Island.

The bacterial infection is most often carried by ticks and can have long-term, devastating effects.

Although it can be cured with antibiotics, health officials say Lyme disease is often overlooked or misdiagnosed due to the small size of tick bites and the similarity between its symptoms and those of other illnesses.

Copyright 2006 by United Press International

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