Rhode Island health and environment officials are urging residents to safely enjoy the outdoors and to take additional precautions to avoid direct contact with ticks that can transmit Lyme disease as the summer nears.
With a very mild winter in which many more ticks than usual have likely survived until spring and with many more people expected to be outside this year, the Rhode Island Department of Health (RIDOH) and the Department of Environmental Management (DEM) are concerned that 2021 may be a bad year for tick bites and the transmission of Lyme disease and other diseases.
As Rhode Islanders enjoy Rhode Island’s outdoors safely, it is also important to be aware of ticks and the diseases they carry. Rhode Island continues to be a high incidence state for Lyme disease. According to 2019 RIDOH disease data, Rhode Island had 971 cases of Lyme disease, with an incidence rate of 91.8 cases per 100,000 people. Reported cases of Lyme disease in Rhode Island increased by approximately 20% in 2017 and has remained at a similar level in 2018 and 2019.
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