Aug 19, 2019 | Updated: 03:06 PM EDT

Health Leaders From Erie County Warns After Ticks & Rabies Once Warm Winter Ends

May 17, 2017 06:01 AM EDT

Adult (left) and nymph (right) blacklegged ticks causing Lyme disease
(Photo : Getty Images)

Health experts have advised resident of Erie County, New York to be extra careful after the warm winter in the place as the chances of ticks and rabies are high. More ticks might lead more people to contact tick diseases like the Lyme disease, which has been a widespread disease in the area.

In an article published in WIVB4, federal health agency Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has warned people of Erie County to be more careful as it is not only the Lyme disease that could be contracted from the ticks. While it is very rare to happen, experts said that the Powossan virus might still be prevalent in the area if residents would not look out for themselves this early.

New York State Department of Health has reported that Powossan virus causes encephalitis or the swelling of the brain. The Powossan virus is a dangerous virus as it kills 10 percent of people who have become ill as other patients of this disease may have permanent neurological damage. That is why CDC has already warned residents of Erie County about the disease.

Still, Dr. Gale Burstein, the health commissioner of Erie County, said that residents should put their concern on Lyme disease first. "In Western New York, we do have Lyme disease, and we do have Lyme disease that is locally transmitted," she said.

Burstein also said that the warm winter in Erie County plays a huge role in spreading diseases from ticks."We're anticipating the population that can transmit these viruses that are born from insects or ticks from say wild animals by rabies by raccoons will be more prevalent because we will have more wildlife because they've had more time to start reproducing," she said.

About rabies, Burstein said that residents of Erie County should get immunizations as this is the best way of avoiding the disease. "Rabies immunizations can be expensive, but they can also be life-saving. Not just for your pets that you love, but also for your family," she said.

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