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Northeast U.S. Should Brace for Spike in Lyme Disease According to One Expert

The northeastern United States may see a significant increase in cases of Lyme disease this spring, warns Richard Ostfeld, a disease ecologist at the Cary Institute of Ecosystem Studies in Millbrook, N.Y.

The reason is that oak trees produced relatively few acorns this year, part of a normal cycle of boom and bust years for the acorn crop. But the small crop means trouble for the white-footed mouse, which feeds on the acorns. Mice are the preferred host for black-legged ticks, which transmit Lyme disease. When there are low numbers of mice, the tick may seek alternate hosts.

For more information: http://ow.ly/9UKgt [HealthDay News, March 20, 2012]

More about Lyme Disease at: http://www.nlm.nih.gov/medlineplus/lymedisease.html .

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