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Connecticut officials bracing for bad year for ticks

Health Watch: Lyme Disease

NEW HAVEN — State officials say they’ve seen an increase in the number of ticks this year, including those carrying diseases.

The Connecticut Post reports that more than 200 ticks have been submitted for testing to the state’s Agricultural Experiment Station in March, compared to 14 in March 2015. Officials say the number of ticks testing positive for the bacterium that cause Lyme disease is also higher than usual.

Experts blame a warm winter and a large population of white-footed mice, which can carry the Lyme disease bacterium and spread it to ticks.

The bacterium is transmitted to humans through tick bites and can cause serious health problem if left untreated.

Health officials say to wear insect repellant and to be vigilant about checking for ticks after spending time outdoors this spring.