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Environment and Outdoors

Ongoing Drought Means Fewer Deer Ticks

Ragnhild Brosvik
Flickr/Creative Commons

By Michael Casey, The Associated Press

CONCORD, N.H. — The drought conditions that have gripped much of the Northeastern U.S. this summer appear to have a silver lining — fewer ticks.

From Maine to Rhode Island, researchers say they expect tick numbers to be down from previous years especially for the blacklegged ticks, known as deer ticks, which transmit Lyme disease.

It’s too early to say, however, whether fewer ticks could mean a decline in Lyme disease cases.

About 30,000 confirmed cases are reported each year across the country and those numbers have steadily risen. Scientists and state health agencies say they won’t be able to provide an accurate assessment until later this year when all the data has been collected.