Orange is Lyme disease capital of NY

Excerpted from an article by Chris Mckenna [ Times Herald-Record ( Posted: 04/26/2010 )]

A slight increase in Lyme disease cases last year has earned Orange County the unwanted distinction of having more cases of the tick-borne illness than any other New York county.

The tally for Orange was 1,078, up from 991 in 2008. That pushed it past Dutchess County, which led the state with 1,121 Lyme cases last year but dropped to second place in 2009 with 975, according to preliminary data provided last week by the state Department of Health.

While that is not exactly boasting material, Orange County officials see the rankings bump as a chance to heighten awareness of Lyme disease and teach ways to avoid it — especially at this time of year, when tiny deer-tick nymphs have emerged from dormancy and are barely visible.

2009 Lyme disease cases

These five counties reported the most cases of Lyme disease in New York in 2009.

Orange: 1,078

Dutchess: 975

Westchester: 643

Albany: 637

Ulster: 578

Source: New York State

Department of Health

“It definitely is a problem in the Hudson Valley, and it has been for a number of years,” said Dr. Jean Hudson, the county health commissioner.

Once most prevalent on Long Island and in Westchester County, Lyme now turns up in comparable or higher numbers in such counties as Orange, Dutchess, Rockland and Ulster — which dropped to 578 cases from 778, but still ranked fifth in the state. Further north, Greene County reported 402 Lyme cases and Columbia had 572 in 2009. Sullivan County had 113 Lyme cases.

For the full article:

~ by Rob on April 26, 2010.

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