Butte County, Calif. - A recent study by the Center for Disease Control revealed that diseases spread from tick and mosquito bites have been sky-rocketing in recent years, and insects carrying potentially fatal diseases have been found here in the North State.
Local experts on these bugs and the diseases they carry said the situation is very worrisome and they want to spread the word so the public can protect themselves when enjoying the outdoors.
Ball says, "Just a walk in Bidwell Park is not just a walk in Bidwell Park anymore. It's still a walk and it's a beautiful day and we encourage the public to use it, but make sure you check for ticks when you get home."
Mosquito and tick experts are urging the public to be careful when enjoying the outdoors this Spring and Summer.
Insects collected in Butte County are coming back positive for dozens of diseases including Lyme Disease.
Matt Ball says until 2004 we didn't have a single mosquito borne disease found in Butte County, but now they're finding diseases that they thought had disappeared a while ago.
Ball says, "For the first time in 69-years in our backyard we had St. Louis Incephilitus reappear. Both of those are kind of a nasty disease that can be, however rare, can be fatal. With ticks we have Rocky Mountain Spotted Fever which is on a surge upward. We do find Lyme Disease in our county and in our ticks."
Mosquito and Vector crews just did their last tick survey until the Fall, and these crews purposely conduct their surveys in high use public areas like Bidwell Park and Lake Oroville so they can provide the best information to the people coming for recreation.
Ball says, "I know a couple patients that are dealing with some very chronic and life-long impairments from different mosquito born diseases. They're quality of life is severly reduced. Their motor skills have diminished and it's a very debilitating disease."