ALLERGY, RESPIRATORY
Air Pollution May Raise Blood Pressure
Asthmatics Who Quit Smoking May Reverse Lung Damage
Molecule in Skin May Link Eczema and Asthma
ALTERNATIVE MEDICINE
Awareness of Alternative Therapies May Be Lacking
Could Chinese Herb Be a Natural Viagra?
Tai Chi: An Ideal Exercise for Many People with Diabetes
ANIMAL CARE
Separation Anxiety, Canine-Style
Beware of Dog Bites
'Comfort Dogs' Come to Emotional Rescue
BONES & JOINTS
In Elderly Women, Hip Fractures Often Follow Arm Breaks
Sea Worm Inspires Novel Bone Glue
Health Tip: Back Pain in Children
CANCER
Vitamin C Shows Promise as Cancer Treatment
Supplement Hampers Thyroid Cancer Treatment
Red Meat No No No But Oily Fish Yes Yes Yes
CAREGIVING
New Guidelines for Treating Heart Failure
Bariatric Surgery Centers Don't Deliver Better Outcomes
With Age Comes Greater Risk of Hypothermia
CIRCULATORY SYSTEM
Mercury in Fish Linked to High Blood Pressure
Support Network May Play Role in Benefits of Drinking
Exercise May Blunt Salt's Effect on Hypertension
COSMETIC
Gum Chewing May Cut Craving for Snacks
Study Evaluates Laser Therapies for Hair Removal
Health Tip: After Liposuction
DENTAL, ORAL
Acid Drinks Blamed for Increase in Tooth Erosion
Holistic Dentistry-My View
Scientists Find Gene for Tooth Enamel
DIABETES
Doctors Urged to Screen Diabetics for Sleep Apnea
Formula Puts Doctor, Patient Glucose Readings on Same Page
Saliva Test Could Monitor Type 2 Diabetes
DIET, NUTRITION
Polyunsaturated Fats Really May Lower Heart Risk
Coffee Drinkers Might Live Longer
The Raw Food Diet
DISABILITIES
Review Finds Marijuana May Help MS Patients
Could Your Cell Phone Help Shield You From Alzheimer's?
ENVIRONMENTAL HEALTH
Scorpion Anti-Venom Speeds Children's Recovery
Topical Drugs May Pollute Waterways
Cleaning House May Be Risky for Women With Asthma
EYE CARE, VISION
Retinal Gene Is Linked to Childhood Blindness
Omega-3 Foods May Lower Eye Disease Risk
Autistic Children Make Limited Eye Contact
FITNESS
Eating Well And Keeping Active As You Grow Old Will Help You Stay Sharp
Exercise Keeps the Brain Young
Simple Exercise Precautions To Help Keep Baby Boomers Fit
GASTROINTESTINAL PROBLEMS
New Guidelines Issued for Management of IBS
Soothing Imagery May Help Rid Some Kids of Stomach Pain
Olive Oil May Protect Against Bowel Disease
GENERAL HEALTH
Swine Flu May Have Infected More Than 100,000 Americans
Go To Work But Skip The Car
What you need to know about swine flu.
HEAD & NECK
Zen May Thicken Brain, Thwart Pain
Many Children Will Outgrow Headaches
Ski Helmets Encouraged for All
HEALTH & TECHNOLOGY
Subway Defibrillators Save Lives
E-Mailing Your Way to Healthier Habits
'Comfort Dogs' Come to Emotional Rescue
HEARING
Summer Sounds Can Lead to Hearing Loss
Noise Hurts Men's Hearing More, Study Shows
HEART & CARDIOVASCULAR
More Steps a Day Lead to Better Health
Brown Rice Tied to Better Heart Health in Study
Vitamin B3 May Help Repair Brain After a Stroke
INFECTIOUS DISEASE
Grapefruit Compound Inhibits Hepatitis C Virus
Swine Flu Is Now a Pandemic Says W.H.O.
Bacterial Infections May Succumb to Honey
INFERTILITY
Obesity May Affect Fertility in Young Womene
KID'S HEALTH
Frequent Feedings May Be Making Babies Fat
St. John's Wort Doesn't Work for ADHD
Traffic, Dust Linked to Asthma in Kids
MEN'S HEALTH
More Vitamin C May Mean Less Chance of Gout
Whole Grains, Bran May Fight Hypertension in Men
Could Chinese Herb Be a Natural Viagra?
MENTAL HEALTH
A Simple 'Thank You' Brings Rewards to All
Psychotherapy Can Boost Happiness More Than Money
Love Hormone May Ease Discussion of Painful Topics
PAIN
Tai Chi May Help Ease Fibromyalgia
Are We Exercising Pain Away? Not So Much.
'Cell Phone Elbow' -- A New Ill for the Wired Age
PHYSICAL THERAPY
PREGNANCY
Prenatal Stress May Boost Baby's Asthma Risk
Obesity May Affect Fertility in Young Womene
Exercise As Well As Acupuncture, May Ease Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome
SENIORS
Keeping Mentally Active Seems To Keep The Brain Active
Tai Chi May Help Ease Fibromyalgia
Laughter Can Stimulate a Dull Appetite
SEXUAL HEALTH
SLEEP DISORDERS
6 to 8 Hours of Shut-Eye Is Optimal for Health
Sleeping Could Help Women Lose The Baby Fat
Moderate Aerobics May Ease Insomnia Symptoms
WOMEN'S HEALTH
Exercise During Pregnancy Keeps Newborn Size Normal
Health Tip: Be More Comfortable During Childbirth
Lifting Weights Can Ease Arm Swelling in Breast Cancer Survivors
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As Earth Warms, Lyme Disease Could Flourish

THURSDAY, April 23 (HealthDay News) -- Global warming may increase the severity of Lyme disease by changing the feeding habits of the deer ticks that transmit it, new research has found.

During its two-year life span, a deer tick goes through three stages: larval, nymphal and adult. To survive, a tick must obtain a blood meal during each stage.

If the source of the first meal (mouse, bird or other small animal) is infected with the bacterium that causes Lyme disease, the tick also becomes infected. The tick can then pass the infection to its next meal, which could be wildlife or a human, during its nymph stage.

The seasonal cycle of feeding for each stage of a tick's life determines the severity of infection in a given region, according to the study in the April issue of Applied and Environmental Microbiology.

In the moderate climate of the Northeastern United States, larval deer ticks feed in the late summer, long after the spring feeding of infected nymphs. This long gap between feeding times directly correlates to more cases of Lyme disease reported in the Northeast.

When there is a longer gap, the most persistent infections are more likely to survive, the study's co-author, Durland Fish, a professor of epidemiology at the Yale School of Public Health, said in a Yale news release. These persistent bacterial strains cause more severe disease in humans, leading more people to seek medical attention and resulting in more case reports.

But in the Midwest, greater extremes of temperature mean a shorter time in which ticks can feed and, therefore, a shorter gap between nymphal and larval feedings.

Midwestern wildlife and ticks tend to be infected with less persistent strains, which correlates with fewer cases of Lyme disease in the Midwest.

As the planet warms, the researchers said, the Upper Midwest could more closely resemble the Northeast: longer gaps between nymphal and larval feeding and stronger, more persistent strains of Lyme disease.

Other diseases, such as malaria, have been projected to expand the geographic region in which they occur in response to climate change, said Maria Diuk-Wasser, assistant professor of epidemiology at Yale and senior author of the study.

But she said this was the first study to show how the severity of disease can also be related to climate.

One of the first symptoms of Lyme disease is often a rash at the site of the bite. Though treatable with antibiotics, the disease can cause fatigue, chills, fever, headache, muscle and joint aches and swollen lymph nodes.

More information

The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has more on Lyme disease.



-- Jennifer Thomas



SOURCE: Yale University, news release, April 21, 2009

Last Updated: April 23, 2009

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