breaking news

Austin police arrest person of interest in deadly Sixth Street assault

Lyme disease risks could increase after mouse plague, experts warn


A mouse plague in the northeast Hudson River Valley in 2016 could fuel an increase in Lyme disease this year, two leading experts are warning.

New York ecologists Felicia Keesing and her husband, Rick Ostfeld, have studied the disease for two decades.

>> Read more trending news 

“We’re anticipating 2017 to be a particularly risky year for Lyme,” Ostfeld said in an interview with NPR.

The two ecologists have reported that the number of mice directly correlates with the number of Lyme cases the following year because mice are very efficient at spreading the disease.  By counting the mice, the ecologists said they can predict the number of Lyme cases.

Mice infect the ticks and ticks are drawn to mice.

“An individual mouse might have 50, 60, even 100 ticks covering its ears and face,” Ostfeld told NPR.

Lyme disease, which is caused by a bacteria, is transmitted to humans through the bite of an infected,  blacklegged tick and can cause flu-like symptoms, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

If the disease is left untreated, it can cause severe long-term medical problems, the CDC said, but, if caught early, it’s easily treatable with antibiotics.

The disease has spread over the past 25 years from just a small part of the northeast and a tinier area in the Midwest, into most of the northeast, a large part of the Midwest and parts of the West Coast, the CDC reported.

The agency considers is a significant public health problem.


Reader Comments ...


Next Up in Local

Austin police arrest person of interest in deadly Sixth Street assault
Austin police arrest person of interest in deadly Sixth Street assault

Austin police have arrested a person of interest in an assault on Sixth Street that left a San Antonio man dead, according to law enforcement officials. The man was identified and taken into custody overnight after officials received numerous tips from the public who had seen photographs and surveillance video released by police. Police declined...
FORECAST: Heat and humidity hang on; small chance for afternoon storms
FORECAST: Heat and humidity hang on; small chance for afternoon storms

Thursday forecast for Austin: Swelter is once again the weather word on the last day of summer (astronomically speaking) as the unforgiving combination of heat and tropical humidity will combine to make it feel like hotter than 100 degrees outside.  The National Weather Service says high temperatures will reach 93 degrees in Central Austin, but...
OVERNIGHT: Fire displaces 11 from North Campus home
OVERNIGHT: Fire displaces 11 from North Campus home

A fire at a North Campus home displaced 11 people early Thursday, though other details remained sparse as authorities continued their investigation.   The blaze erupted shortly before 1:30 a.m. at a house on the 3300 block of Kim Lane, in the heavily student-populated neighborhood, and burned for more than half an hour before Austin firefighters...
Former Longhorn Ricky Williams arrested on warrants
Former Longhorn Ricky Williams arrested on warrants

Former Longhorn and Heisman Trophy award winner Ricky Williams was arrested in South Austin on Tuesday on traffic warrants, records show. Williams was pulled over for a traffic offense on Manchaca Road at Ben White Boulevard, then arrested on warrants, Austin police said. He is no longer in the Travis County Jail, records show.  Williams...
Here’s how to help Mexico after deadly earthquakes
Here’s how to help Mexico after deadly earthquakes

Mexico still needs help after it was hit by two major earthquakes in as many weeks.  A 7.1-magnitude quake has left more than 200 people dead in Mexico City and the central states of Mexico State, Guerrero, Morelos and Puebla. And on Sept. 7, about 96 people died during an 8.2-magnitude earthquake – the strongest to hit the country in more...
More Stories