Thank you for publishing the Susan Dollard piece on Lyme disease in the May 2 Times Herald-Record. It was an especially timely report at this time of year when ticks are emerging after a long winter and looking for a blood meal.
Although Ms. Dollard profiled just Lyme, scientists recognize more than a dozen tick-borne diseases in the United States and new ones are still being discovered. Since one tick can carry more than one disease, people in our area can get more than one co-infection from the bite of a single tick. And the evidence is not clear that one is likely to be “safe” if a tick only is attached for less than 24 hours. In fact, evidence is strong that a bite from an infected tick can transmit one tick-borne disease in as little as 15 minutes.
With at least 300,000 of us infected each year (and estimates are as high as 1.2 million) health care providers and researchers urge extreme caution in all our outdoor activities.