Tuesday, March 27, 2007

VIRGINIA NEWS: Growing Concern Over Deer Populations and Lyme Disease

FAIRFAX, Va. -- Some Fairfax County residents are pleading for help to manage the area's deer population after a surge in reported cases of Lyme disease.

Infected ticks spread the disease, and deer are carrying the ticks across the county, health officials said. Fairfax County disease program manager Jorge Arias said deer are like a "Metro system" for ticks.

Lyme disease often begins with such symptoms as fever, fatigue and a bull's-eye-shaped rash. It is often quickly treated with antibiotics.

Confirmed cases of the disease in Fairfax County rose from three in 2004 to 82 in 2006. Much of the increase is due to better reporting, according to health officials.

The numbers are rising across the Washington area.

Loudoun County claims half of all the reported cases of Lyme disease in Virginia. In Maryland's Montgomery County, confirmed cases have grown fivefold since 2004 to 216 last year. Instances of the disease are on the rise here, but they are still less than some New England states, which see thousands of cases, health officials said.

source: http://www.nbc4.com/health/11372522/detail.html

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