The Valley has lots going for it when it comes to the great outdoors. Unfortunately, an outdoor excursion in our region may put you at risk of contracting Lyme disease. Dutchess and Ulster counties are among the nation’s leaders in the number of confirmed Lyme cases, a dubious honor indeed. (Interestingly, over the past two years Ulster has surpassed Dutchess in the incidence of Lyme disease; according to state health department stats, Ulster has a rate of 300 cases per every 100,000 people, versus Dutchess County’s rate of 140 cases.) One reason might be the unusually small acorn crop we’ve had recently. Fewer acorns mean less mice, a major host for the ticks that carry the disease. When infected ticks can’t find a mouse to bite, they turn to other mammals — like us humans.
Experts expect this year to be the worst ever for Lyme disease. Follow the Centers for Disease Control’s guidelines for prevention.
» Got bitten? Find a doctor in our Hudson Valley Health Guide