Connecticut’s US Sen. Blumenthal offers public health advisory on ticks, illness

A deer tick sits on a piece of straw.

A deer tick sits on a piece of straw.

NEW HAVEN >> Connecticut is seeing a surge in ticks this spring and U.S. Sen. Richard Blumenthal visited the Connecticut Agricultural Experiment Station Thursday to urge residents to be vigilant.

“Increasingly these ticks are a threat to public health,” Blumenthal said. “I’ve listened to story after story from people in Connecticut whose lives have been decimated by these ticks and the diseases they carry.”

Blumenthal was joined at the Experiment Station by its director, Dr. Theodore Andreadis, who said while there was no established scientific reason why the tick population is increasing, his own theory is “the mild winter weather seasons we’ve had the past two years have probably contributed.”

The Connecticut Agricultural Experiment Station has collected 450 ticks so far this year and 38 percent have tested positive for Lyme disease - 11 percent higher than the average that have tested positive over the past five years in the state.

Over the past five years, the Tick Testing Laboratory has received 12,483 ticks from Connecticut residents or health departments for testing and on average 27 percent tested positive for the Lyme disease agent.

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