Well, I guess everyone has seen this map from Yale University by now...
Yes, it is a map of Lyme disease risk areas based on tick flagging from 2004-2007 in the above regions, followed by an analysis of those ticks. No matter where one looked, the odds of a tick carrying Borrelia burgdorferi were 1 in 5 everywhere... So be careful out there, huh?
While it's good to let people know there are transition areas where Lyme disease is up and coming, it's good not to be too complacent if you fall into a green zone. Today's low risk zone can be tomorrow's transitional area, and these maps must be accurately updated in order to reflect reality.
Thing is, I haven't been thinking of this map as regards tick distribution and Lyme disease so much as I've been thinking about this map:
Because there is evidence that ticks' distribution is spread not only by mammals which hug the ground - but can also be spread geographically by birds.
So look at the above two maps. Now look at this, after I scale and resize them to overlap (somewhat off-bias, but best I could get with different projections):
Questions for my readers:
- For those of you along the southern principal flyway, how many of you received an infected tick bite near that flyway, either to its north or south?
- For those of you in northeastern and north central Florida, how many of you received an infected tick bite near that flyway passing over your state?
- For those of you in eastern Canada, can you tell me if you received an infected tick bite near that flyway by the Great Lakes?
I'm looking at this and wondering a few other things, too, like I think these flyways would end up moving a little further north as global warming progresses - so I would expect a greater distribution of infected ticks further north as time goes on. Is there any way to confirm this is what is happening?
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