By David Spunt


PHILADELPHIA (CBS) – The CDC  is warning about the increased risk for diseases from fleas and ticks as the warmer weather approaches.

In a new report out by the CDC, vectorborne diseases transmitted through tick bites, mosquitos and fleas are a “growing public health problem in the United States.”

‘Tick Explosion’ May Be Coming This Summer, Expert Warns

“It’s not to scare people, it’s to be aware!” says Dr. Rob Danoff with Jefferson Health.

The CDC says these diseases have more than tripled since 2004.

Reported cases* of tickborne disease — U.S. states and territories, 2004–2016 | Credit: CDC

The new report identified 16 vectorborne diseases on the rise, including lyme disease, anaplasmosis/ehrlichiosis, spotted fever rickettsiosis, babesiosis, tularemia, Powassan virus, Dengue viruses, Zika virus, West Nile virus, malaria, chikungunya virus, California serogroup viruses, St. Louis encephalitis virus, Eastern 3855958equine encephalitis virus, yellow fever virus, and plague.

“Nearly 650,000 cases of vector-borne disease were reported during 2004–2016,” the CDC says.

The number of annual reports of tickborne bacterial and protozoan diseases more than doubled during this period.

Credit: CDC

Lyme disease accounted for 82 percent of all tickborne disease reports during 2004–2016.

The number of Mosquito-borne diseases rose from 4,858 in 2004 to 47,461 in 2016.

West Nile virus was the most commonly transmitted mosquito-borne disease in the continental US.

The CDC credits the warmer temps as one reason we’re seeing the spike in diseases.

Want to get rid of ticks?

“One of the things that I recommend to my patients is you know those lint rollers that are really sticky. I have them roll along their skin, their back, and their hair and before ticks start feeding on your blood, these lint rollers, they are so sticky it will attach to it and they’ll get rid of it that way,” Danoff.

The Environmental Protection Agency shares these tips to fend of ticks and mosquitos:

-Use insect repellent

-Keep ticks away from exposed skin by wearing long-sleeved shirts, long pants, and high boots.

-Tuck shirts into pants and pants into socks to cover gaps in your clothing where ticks can get in.

-Wear light-colored clothing to be able to see ticks more easily.

-Eliminate standing water in rain gutters, old tires, buckets, plastic covers, toys, or any other container where mosquitoes can breed.

-Empty and change the water in bird baths, fountains, wading pools, rain barrels, and potted plant trays at least once a week to destroy potential mosquito habitats.

-Drain or fill temporary pools of water with dirt.

-Keep swimming pool water treated and circulating.