Sunday, October 10, 2010

OHIO NEWS: Deer Tick Populations Expand, Hunters and Hikers At-Risk

Hunters and hikers should be wary of a potentially disease-carrying parasite that has established a foothold in Ohio, the state Department of Natural Resources warns.

A reproducing population of black-legged ticks, or deer ticks, has been found in Coshocton County, said Glen Needham, an entomologist with Ohio State University.

The tick, which can carry Lyme disease, is fairly common in surrounding states, and hikers have come across single ticks in Ohio for years. But scientists didn't discover a population large enough to reproduce and sustain itself until this past spring, he said.

Some deer ticks carry Lyme Disease, the most common arthropod-transmitted disease in the U.S. Last year, there were 30,000 cases of Lyme confirmed by the CDC. It is an emerging disease, one that most Ohio residents have little or no experience with. Deer play an important role in moving ticks long distances.

Source: Columbus Dispatch