Several counties added to the Lyme Disease danger areas in Michigan
KALAMAZOO, Mich. —
Contracting Lyme Disease from ticks is on the rise in Michigan.
The Michigan Department of Health and Human Services (MDHHS) released its latest report that shows more counties are at risk of reporting cases of Lyme Disease.
Kalamazoo County is one of nearly 30 counties in the red zone for Lyme Disease. The MDHHS says red zones include counties with at least two confirmed cases.
The latest reports show Alpena, Bay and St Clair Counties are new to the 2018 list.
Health professionals say it's the black-legged tick is the cause for the increase in confirmed cases.
The ticks, almost microscopic in size, are carrying the Lyme Disease and the bacteria-carrying bug was first detected in 2002 along the coast of Lake Michigan.
Steve Kelso, Kent County Health Department communications manager, said, “They didn't exist here and they didn't exist much in the upper peninsula for a quite a long time. And now they've marched every county there, and it looks like they're coming into these second counties and it won't be long until they just take over the entire state. It's just going to be a fact of life.”
Health professionals say the ticks have continued to spread across the state's lower peninsula and it is the second year Kent County is on the list.
Kelso says they've been following the trend of the ticks path for the past few years.