HAMDEN, Conn. — 'Tis the season for trouble when it comes to ticks and it has people talking at Sleeping Giant State Park in Hamden.
“I definitely have fears, I usually always spray down near my feet with bug spray,” said hiker Jennifer Sedaille.
Warm, wet, weather is welcome territory for the bugs.
“Mostly I think of ticks on dogs, but I realize ticks get on humans and can cause major illnesses, you’ve got to be very careful of that,” Pat Bryson added.
Dr. Patrick Cahill is an Infectious Disease Specialist with Hartford Healthcare, he says in the Connecticut region, deer ticks and the potential for Lyme disease are a big focus. The Lone Star tick and the Asian Longhorn tick can also carry disease and have been spotted recently in Connecticut as well.
“There will be more and more tick-borne diseases. We've seen a trend really nationwide, but especially in the region, over the last decade an increase in the likelihood of the ticks that you're carrying to be infected with Lyme Disease or some of the less common pathogens as well,” he said.
On Friday, U.S. Sen. Richard Blumenthal joined the team from the Connecticut Agricultural Experiment Station to call for $50 million from Washington for the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention to take on what they call an exploding tick population.
“Some of these new invasive species, we don’t know how they are going to behave in Connecticut," said station scientist Jason White. "One is from Asia, two are from the south coming up, and you need the fundamental research to understand how they are going to act and react in Connecticut."
To stay safe this summer, experts recommend the use of tick repellent on your body, clothes and camping gear. You also want to check yourself, pets and kids after spending time in grassy or wooded areas including your own yard.
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“It is very hard to see them and find them, sometimes you don’t even know, some you should always check yourself,” Sedaille said.
Potential signs of Lyme Disease can include a bulls-eye rash, fever, fatigue and joint pain. If you have any symptoms, see your doctor.
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