Researchers have found a new disease, similar to Lyme and also carried by deer ticks, in Connecticut and New York.
The illness, which has many of the same symptoms of Lyme Disease — fever, headache, muscle ache and fatigue — can also be treated with the same class of drugs as Lyme, according to a report in the New Haven Register.
Researchers at the Yale schools of Public Health and Medicine discovered the disease, which was first found in deer ticks in Japan in 1995 and then in Connecticut in 2001. The experts estimate, conservatively, that there are probably 4,000 cases of the illness in this country so far, but that number could be much higher, the report states.
Steve Civitelli, chief sanitarin for the Wallingford Health Department, said there haven't been any cases reported locally, although he said he was aware of the new disease.
When asked how a tick that was found in Japan and Russia, as the article states, could make its way to Connecticut, Civitelli said he thinks it comes from the transportation of goods.
"You may have stuff in the food supply, in my opinion," he said. "And when goods are shipped across state lines I think that's where the transmission comes from."
Civitelli reminds Wallingford residents that, if they find a tick on their body and they don't know what type it is, the can always bring it in for an analysis at the health department. He said the department's staff will do a quick surface check on the arachnid and, if it cannot be easily identified, then they will send the tick off to a lab in New Haven to be examined. After that, it takes about a week for the lab to give its full report back.
"In the meantime we usually recommend they see their healthcare provider," Civitelli said, noting that residents should look out for symptoms like rashes that develop around the tick bite.
For more information, contact the Wallingford Health Department at (203) 294-2065. The department functions out of .