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Lyme disease moving north

Lyme disease moving north
On top of being an enormous health hazard to humans, Lyme disease can harm dogs, causing lameness, fever and lethargy. It's carried primarily by the blacklegged tick, or deer tick, in the Northeast and the western blacklegged tick in the South.

Both are on the move.

"With Ixodes (blacklegged ticks) moving northward from the United States into Canada, it's a clear example of how things are changing," said Michael Yabsley, a professor in the College of Veterinary Medicine at the University of Georgia in Athens. 

Even as Lyme disease moves northward, it's not decreasing in its historic area. In fact, infection rates in dogs are getting worse, said Yabsley, who studies wildlife diseases.

In 2018 in Columbia County, New York, 30% of dogs tested were positive for Lyme disease. In Worcester County, Massachusetts, it was 21%, and in Ulster County, New York, it was 20%, according to data collected by the Companion Animal Parasite Council.

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