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TICKS EXPANDING IN NUMBER ACROSS THE STATE

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The CDC says the geographic ranges of tick species responsible for a majority of human disease transmissions is expanding. The CDC says three species of tick are primarily responsible for disease transmission and all three can be found in Tennessee. The CDC credits the Blacklegged tick, Lone Star tick, and American dog tick as the culprits. In 2014, the CDC reports Lyme disease was responsible for 69% of national vector-borne diseases, with another 25% of other diseases transmitted from ticks. Many areas where ticks had not been previously reported are now seeing a large expansion. In 2000, there were just over 1,000 annual reported cases of spotted fever, Ehrlichioses, and Anaplasmosis -the three most reported tick borne diseases. In the latest report, the number of cases jumped 9,000. Based on that report, most of the cases reported in Tennessee were from Rocky Mountain Spotted Fever and Ehrlichiosis, though Lyme disease and other tickborne diseases have also been reported. The CDC credits increasing human contact with ticks and no human vaccines to prevent tickborne diseases for the growth. The CDC recommends avoiding areas where ticks are often found, using 20-30% DEET on exposed skin, and wearing permethrin-treated clothing.