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Ticks and mosquitoes may await the pandemic-weary seeking outdoor exercise

Pandemic-weary Americans have begun walking and hiking in recent months to get out of the house while avoiding infection with the novel coronavirus. At the same time, resource-strapped local health departments have been forced to divert money and people to covid-related activities, unwillingly creating openings for outside exercisers to get sick in other ways.

Although woods and trails provide some distance from people, they are home to other dangers — such as ticks that carry bacteria-causing Lyme disease or mosquitoes that transmit West Nile virus — especially now, when bugs are proliferating. These and other insects can pass along potentially serious diseases with a single bite.

Health departments have been spending their budgets and deploying personnel on covid-19 efforts, which hurts their ability to focus on programs that control mosquitoes and ticks, says Chelsea Gridley-Smith, director of environmental health for the National Association of County and City Health Officials.


Continue reading the article by The Washington Post's Marlene Cimons here.

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October 27, 2023

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