Lyme disease figures soar, Times Union, Albany, NY, 10 Jan 2001 
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 Lyme disease figures soar, Times Union, Albany, NY, 10 Jan 2001

Lyme disease figures soar, Times Union, Albany, NY, 10 Jan 2001

From the Times Union:

By JENNIFER JORDAN, Associated Press
First published: Wednesday, January 10, 2001

Lyme disease figures soar

Data from counties including Albany, Saratoga
and Rensselaer show number of cases doubled

ALBANY -- Cases of Lyme disease increased sharply
last year in some counties along the Hudson River,
according to preliminary state Health Department

The number of Lyme disease cases reported in Albany,
Greene, Rensselaer and Saratoga counties were all more
than double the amounts reported in 1999.

Albany County had 63 cases of the disease, compared
to 15 the year before, according to the Health
Department figures. Greene went from 31 to 100,
Rensselaer from 24 to 65, and Saratoga from one case
to 10.

Without yet tallying figures from New York City, the
Health Department has counted more than 4,000 cases
of Lyme disease from last year. The 1999 total -- minus
New York City -- was 4,403.

"We've seen fluctuations from year to year, so that is not
unusual,'' said Claire Pospisil, Health Department
spokeswoman. If there was in fact a decline in new
cases, however, she said, it could be due to people
taking precautions.

"Ticks continue to spread geographically,'' said David
Weld, executive director of the American Lyme Disease
Foundation in Westchester County. He said the Health
Department's tick specialists surveyed a pine tree forest
near the city of Albany last year and did not even have
to put out traps to find ticks -- they saw them crawling
all over their clothing.

"They weren't there two years ago and now they were
everywhere,'' Weld said.

Tiny ticks, which live on mice and deer, can carry Lyme
disease. The ailment usually causes a bull's-eye rash, and
if left untreated, can damage the heart and nervous
system and cause arthritis.

Besides a greater number of ticks in the counties
surrounding Albany, Weld said heightened awareness
may have led to an increase in the number reported.

Said Pierce Hoyt, co-director of{*filter*}n Pond
Environmental Education Center in Rensselaer County,
"It's tough for us. ... People really will not send their kids
on a field trip to the outdoors -- that's a concern.''

Nonetheless, Hoyt said, "We're not panicking,'' and he
pointed out the variety of measures to avoid the disease
-- the most important being a body check for ticks after
time spent in the woods.

In Westchester County, the number of reported cases
went from 553 in 1999 to 272. Ulster County reported
200 cases, compared to 150 the year before.

Dutchess County, a national hot spot for Lyme disease,
showed a slight decline of cases -- from 1,385 to 1,059
-- according to the state Health Department. The
county's public health commissioner believes that when
workers track down more complete statistics, the
numbers will not have changed significantly, however.

Lyme disease figures soar, Times Union, Albany, NY, 10 Jan 2001


Wed, 02 Jul 2003 06:56:30 GMT
 [ 1 post ] 

 Relevant Pages 

1. "Lyme disease vaccine has risks of its own", Albany Times Union, 7 April 2000

2. Lyme disease risk rises, Times Union, Albany, New York, 7 Jun 01

3. Albany NY Times Union Article

4. Firefighter in battle with Lyme disease (ALS vs Lyme disease), St. Petersburg Times, 10 Dec 00

5. Reported Lyme cases decrease, Greenwich Time Online, 11 Jan 2001

6. Terry Polevoy, MD, asks some questions about Lyme disease, Medscape, 10 Jan 01

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9. Certainty and Uncertainty in Treatment of Lyme Disease, New York Times, 10 Jul 01

10. NY TIMES, Union of Concerned Scientists

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