Ticks are becoming more numerous, more fatal Local News

GLENS FALLS – When ticks are found in higher places and a fatal illness carried more widely than previously, some State Senators are seeking to re-use research funding for Lyme and tick-borne diseases in the state budget.

Sen Sue Serino (R-Hyde Park) held a recent press conference in Albany where she and other legalists recommended funding and introduced some of the state's leading researchers on the issue.

The $ 1 million committed last year helped those working in the field to collect ticks and those studying the diseases and viruses. But this year there is nothing in the budget for tick disease research.

“There are some issues better than politics, and this is a question,” says Serino in a newsletter.

Around 400,000 new cases of Lyme disease are reported in the United States each year, around a quarter of which are from New York.

Looking at the 2016 data, Sen. Daphne Jordan (R-Halfmoon), who also attended the press conference, has reported that some of the cases are reported higher in parts of his area.

“Obviously it has to be funded,” she said on the research. "It's important. I mean the statistics tell a lot, and if you meet some of the people suffering from Lyme's disease, it is debilitating. It can destroy your life."

Although Lyme is probably the most studied and spoken of illness, scientists are also concerned about Powassan, a potentially fatal virus. New studies show that it is more widespread than previously thought.


In 2017, Zétoga County was zero land for Powassan virus.

This virus can circulate around the brain and spine and cannot be changed. Some people come back, although they often have permanent signs.

Others can become infected but never have signs.

Three people were infected within a few weeks in 2017 in Saratoga County. In the case of a virus that only showed about two dozen hours in the whole state since the beginning of the 2000s, three people in one area had an appointment in a short period of time, Lee Ann Sporn, biology professor at Paul Smith College said.

The cases were further north than expected, which surprised how long Powassan was in the north.


Last summer, Sporn and his students gathered ticks across the North Country by sweeping bright sunshine over the ground.

They also collected deer blood harvested by hunters from wildlife management stations across their Adirondacks, including from deer killed in Washington, Warren, Clinton and Essex counties.

Deer are not susceptible to Patricia, but if a virus carrying a virus affixes them, the deer will create antibodies to fight it.

These deer are a bit with thousands of ticks during their lives, Sporn said, so there was a good way to tick thousands of their blood.

The work was carried out in partnership with the State Health Department, which tested samples at its Wadsworth Lab in Albany.

Powassan had ticked about 40 percent of the deer, and deer had antibodies across the Athens, from the southeast to the northernmost regions.

The results showed that Powassan antibodies in southern Adirondacks, such as Saratoga County, were not in the north, such as Essex County, said Bryon Bickson, deputy director of the Bureau of Transferable Disease Control.

Still, he said, Powassan has even seen a relatively new southern Adirondacks for the Department of State Health.


“This is the first time that we have studied blood samples in the deer in the North Country,” said Sporn.

“We didn't know what the story was. Another reason is to monitor and look at emerging areas for tick-borne diseases. I'm surprised that this virus is so widespread.

"You know, our mind, our goal, to set up the northern edge of the virus, and when we didn't really have a northern edge, I realized I'd like to do this a few years ago."

The deer meat is still safe to eat, said Sporn and Bickson, because deer carriers are not the virus.

Powassan ticks can be quickly spread on a human host, but Sporn and Bickson said that, although an alarming virus, there is still a possibility that infections will remain slim.

Six in the state had Powassan in 2017, three of whom were in 2018.

“Three cases last year don't necessarily mean it would be 10 or 2019,” said Bickson. “It seems like the geographical area in which we find that Powassan has a wider geographical area in the ticks of these deer than we knew a few years ago… but it seems that there is no increase in the human cases. . ”

Sporn and Bickson are expected that state officials will return the borne illness funding so that studies can continue this year.


Life changed forever when Kayla Labelle turned 10, and not because she was the first two-digit birthday.

Clifton Park child had started a summer break, at the age of 9, playing with her friends and neighbors outside and kicking a soccer ball with a team in Burnt Hills.

She had August's birthday, then the next night she woke up in extreme pain. She couldn't move one side of her face.

She fled into her parents' bedroom, and drove her to the hospital. Doctors ran blood and spinal tests, but nothing unusual came up.

The next night, Kayla said, she couldn't face her at all.

“At this point, nothing is working favorably, and some of my body started going,” Labelle said. “They didn't seem to be just coming on what was going on, and it was just getting worse and worse.” T

A doctor who was studying Lyme disease with the U. Centers for Disease Control went into Albany and looked at Labelle. While the blood tests came back negative, the doctor decided that Lyelle's disease was affecting Lyme's disease.

She was treated unfavorably with antibiotics, three weeks worth more than an antibiotic.

The summer holidays came to an end.

“I had no time to repeat or practice again, because it was so visible,” said Kayla about the paralysis against her. “When I started school it was kind of hard. I had a lot of bullying. I lost a lot of my friends. ”

Now a student at SUNY Adirondack, Kayla shows any of those visible signs of Lyme disease, but she still suffers from complications, pain and digestion.

It's not the only one.


Holly Ahern, an associate professor of microbiology at SUNY Adirondack and one of the top experts and advocates in the state, spoke last month about ticks and borne illnesses, sponsored by Soil and Warren Water Conservation Area.

The room was filled with people who had Lyme's disease, or had a loving person infected with it.

Last year, New York recorded almost 100,000 cases, and Ahern considers that the actual number is higher, due to a lack of definitive testing.

Anne Murray, a retired teacher from the area and a member of the American Post Assistant 574, was able to tell her story. She gave a year and a half to get a diagnosis for Lyme.

She still suffers from pain in her joints and difficulty with her speech and has an unclear and unforgiving road to recovery.

Ahern's daughter went through something similar.

“At this stage, we do not have accurate clinical testing of Lyme disease,” she said. “One of those people had a daughter, which is why I do what I do now.” T


Ahern works with scientists and researchers in other colleges and universities around the country, and hopes that she will be well informed about Lyme disease testing. Meanwhile, it is spreading awareness and asking people to take precautions against beef.

More and more cases of Lyme are surfacing on southern Adirondacks, she said.

Ticks do not work well in very cold, but global warming could help them move north and higher elevations. The sporn said they were found at levels as high as 1,800 feet.

Sporn, Ahern and Bickson are all working with local health departments on educational outreach.

Adirondackers may not be able to take precautions to prevent ticket stickers, such as wearing light clothing and making “ticket checks” after walking, but they hope to change them.

“This particular area is lucky enough to find many state and federal resources, and we'd love to see that,” said Bickson.

Read how tick-borne diseases set aside life of Ticonderoga man. Page A6


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