New studies have found that Lyme Disease rates in the U.S. are changing, as the rise in rates are occurring more often in Northern States. These states include Virginia, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Michigan, Illinois, Wisconsin, Minnesota and North Dakota. The study has also found that dropping rates were found more in Southeast such as in Alabama and Georgia, but also in California, Oregon, and Wyoming.
Researchers are attributing these changing rates to the changing climate. It is believed that with warmer temperatures increasing North, it allows the ticks to migrate Northward to areas previously thought to be too cold. Along with warmer climate comes the migration of more lizards north into the southern states. The lizards are known to be “dead-end hosts” of the disease because it cannot be passed on to humans through lizards. This would be one of the reasons for the result of dropping rates of the disease in southern states.
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