Tick-borne illnesses growing among Illinois residents

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If a tick is not removed within 36 to 48 hours, antibiotic treatment should be received.

McLEAN, Ill. – Illinois health officials say they’re seeing an increase in tick-borne illness among residents in the state.

Department of Public Health entomologist Linn Haramis tells The Pantagraph that the state had about 40 confirmed cases in 2000. By 2010, the number increased to 200 confirmed cases. The provisional total for 2016 is nearly 350 cases.

The number tick-borne illness cases isn’t known precisely because the department only counts those confirmed by testing.

Such tick-borne illnesses include Lyme disease, Rocky Mountain Spotted Fever, Ehrlichiosis, Babesiosis and Anaplasma Phagocytophilum.

Illinois State University infectious disease researcher Ben Sadd says one reason for the uptick in such illnesses could be global warming. He says fewer ticks, and the small mammals they feed on, die during milder winters.

Information from: The Pantagraph, http://www.pantagraph.com