Ticks Increase In Central Illinois, Concerns Over Lyme Disease
By Bria Purdiman
The Champaign-Urbana Public Health District recently posted signs in area forest preserves and park districts warning people about ticks. As temperatures rise, there are more of them. One tick that we’re seeing more of carries Lyme disease.
University of Illinois entomologist Brian Allan said it’s known as the deer tick.
“Among entomologists it’s referred to as the black-legged tick,” Allan said.
Allan said it’s this type of tick that causes Lyme disease, which can lead to flu-like symptoms, arthritis and nerve problems.
“This tick species is expanding in distribution, and has been for the last several decades. It’s relevant to us here because that tick is now starting to show up in East Central Illinois--not in very large numbers, but we are starting to see it here. So, that does expand the distribution of that tick and potentially of Lyme disease,” Allan said.
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, over the last decade, reported cases of Lyme disease in Illinois have nearly tripled.
Tick season began in April and goes until October.