Suffolk County officials have published the results of a multi-year study on ticks and their transmitted pathogens, which shows how often tick-borne diseases have occurred, especially at the East End.
County health officials worked with the New York State Department of Health on the "Tick Disease Monitoring Program," which took three years to complete. The census-type study involved collecting ticks from all 10 cities in Suffolk County and analyzing them for potential pathogens that pose a threat to human health, such as Lyme disease, babesiosis, and the rare but deadly Powassan virus, the swelling in the Brain and brain can cause continues to spread in the northeast.
The most frequently identified causative agent in Riverhead, Southold, and Shelter Island was Borrelia burgdorferi, the bacterium that causes Lyme disease.
Adult deer ticks on Shelter Island and in East Hampton cities had the highest infection rate in Lyme disease at 66%. Deer tick infection rates were 42% in Riverhead and 34% in Southold, according to the study.
Officials found that the results reflect a single location in each community and that ticks collected in spring, summer and winter coincide with various stages of arachnoid development.
No ticks were found from the North Fork with the Powassan virus virus, but infected ticks were found in East Hampton, Islip, Huntington, and Smithtown, according to the study. This information is fully available on the Suffolk County Department of Health Services website.
Since 2009, 19 cases of Powassan virus have been reported in New York, but no infections in humans have been confirmed in Suffolk County.
One of the key priorities of the Regional Resource Center for Tick-Borne Diseases at Stony Brook Southampton Hospital is to educate the public about prevention, diagnosis and treatment.
"Over the past four years, the collaboration with the head of the Entomology Laboratory, Dr. Ing. Scott Campbell, and his staff helped improve our educational mission by helping us reach even more residents and visitors who are driving our core public education mission and facilitating access to the diagnosis and treatment of tick-borne diseases " Managing Director Karen Wulffraat said in a statement.
The center distributes training materials and hundreds of ticks moving kits to residents per year.
According to the authorities, public awareness remains central.
"Education is key when it comes to protecting public health," said Drs. James Tomarken, Health Commissioner of Suffolk County. "We encourage physicians to be familiar with case definitions and to be aware of vector-borne diseases when diagnosing patients. We also want our residents to be alert and to take the necessary steps to prevent vector-borne diseases.
The tick monitoring study was recommended by the Task Force for Ticks and Vector-Driven Diseases in its 2016 report.
] The results show that the infection rates of tick-borne pathogens in Suffolk County are within the normal range set by the State of New York.
The Centers for the Control and Prevention of Disease classify the state of New York for Lyme as a high-incidence state. This means that there are an average of 10 confirmed cases per 100,000 people for at least three consecutive years.
To further raise awareness, Bellone announced a tick biting prevention campaign to help educate school-age children in summer camps and other outdoor programs on preventive measures they can take to reduce the risk of Reduce tick bites.
As part of the campaign, Suffolk County Health Department staff held "tick-talk" presentations in local libraries and 500 ticks signs were installed in parks nationwide.
Last summer, Ministry of Health employees conducted 30 through Public Forums reaching approximately 549 adults and 488 children.
Residents and visitors to Suffolk County who have questions about the removal of ticks or tick-borne diseases are encouraged to call the Ticks-Disposed Resource Center hotline at (631) 726-TICK.