PROVIDENCE, R.I. (WPRI) – A new report from the CDC found infections from fleas, ticks, and mosquitoes have more than tripled since 2004.
The study tracked 16 insect-carried diseases including Lyme disease and the Zika virus.
Lyme disease accounted for 63% of the infections tracked, resulting in 36,000 cases per year, according to the CDC report. Citing underreporting, officials believe the actual number of cases could be closer to 300,000 per year.
Over the past 14 years, at least nine new bug-related diseases were recorded in the U.S.
CBS Chief Medical Correspondent Dr. John LaPook said there are several possible explanations for the increase.
“Warmer temperatures can lead to a warmer breeding season and that can allow things like ticks and mosquitoes to spread geographically,” LaPook said. “Also, the world is getting smaller and smaller. There’s so much travel.”
In order to prevent insect-carried diseases, officials recommend checking your clothing and body after spending time outdoors, as well as showering shortly after coming inside.
If come into contact with a tick, University or Rhode Island Tick Expert Dr. Thomas Mather wants to know about it. You can help his team track ticks by reporting it on The TickEncounter Resource Center. This can be accessed from your mobile device as well.