breaking news

OVERNIGHT: In late votes, transgender bathroom bill, 10 others sent to House

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

OVERNIGHT: Senate approves ban on tax money for abortion providers
OVERNIGHT: Senate approves ban on tax money for abortion providers

Voting at 1:50 a.m. Wednesday, the Texas Senate gave initial approval to a bill that would bar state and local governments from providing money to abortion providers or their affiliates. The Republican author of Senate Bill 4, Sen. Charles Schwertner of Georgetown, said the legislation was demanded by Texans who do not want their tax money helping...
In late votes, transgender bathroom bill, 10 others sent to House
In late votes, transgender bathroom bill, 10 others sent to House

In a flurry of votes that extended beyond midnight, the Texas Senate gave final approval to almost a dozen bills early Wednesday, including legislation cracking down on transgender-friendly bathroom policies. Most of the bills, which received initial Senate approval Monday and Tuesday, were sent to the House with little or no debate in about a half-hour...
Senate OKs limits on union payroll deductions
Senate OKs limits on union payroll deductions

The Texas Senate late Tuesday voted largely along party lines to ban payroll deductions for union dues for many state and local government employees. Senate Bill 7 — given initial approval on a 19-12 vote at 11:33 p.m. after almost 2½ hours of debate — would exempt unions serving police, firefighters and emergency medical workers...
Backyard at Bee Cave Phase 1 delayed by lack of connection to Texas 71
Backyard at Bee Cave Phase 1 delayed by lack of connection to Texas 71

The planned Backyard at Bee Cave development, with its music venue, office space, hotel and data centers located off of Bee Cave Parkway, is held up by a single obstacle: access to Texas 71, which the City Council has previously stated is mandatory in order for the developer Chris Milam and his team to receive a Certificate of Occupancy. During the...
Poultry mogul Bo Pilgrim dies at age 89

Lonnie “Bo” Pilgrim, who grew a one-time feed store into the world’s largest poultry producer before losing the company in bankruptcy, has died at 89. A statement on the Erman Smith Funeral Home website says Pilgrim died Friday at his Pittsburg home, about 110 miles east of Dallas. Pilgrim was known for appearing on Pilgrim&rsquo...
More Stories