Public Health - Arboviruses: Tick and Mosquito Disease Information

Laurel Headwell, MS   
Assistant Director:   
Angela Stuart Palmer, MS

Supervising PHN:   
Kim Frederick, MS, RN   
Fiscal Manager:   
Tammy Mickan

Office Hours:   
Monday - Friday:   
8:00 AM - 4:00 PM

County Services Complex   
2714 State Highway 29   
Johnstown, NY 12095

(518) 736-5720   
(518) 762-1382

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Diseases Carried by Ticks     
Diseases spread by ticks include Anaplasmosis, Ehrlichiosis, Lyme, Babesiosis, Powassan Virus and Rocky Mountain Spotted Fever. Lyme disease is the most common disease spread by ticks in New York State.  

Lyme disease is an infection caused by Borrelia burgdorferi, a type of bacteria that is carried by ticks. An infected tick can transmit the bacteria to the humans and animals it bites. Untreated, the bacteria can cause a number of symptoms such as joint pain, chills, fever and fatigue.  

While Lyme disease continues to be the most prevelant tick-borne disease in New York State, other tick-borne diseases, including babesiosis and anaplasmosis are spreading geographically within the State. Tick-borne disease symptoms vary by type of infection and can include fever, fatigue, headache and rash.   

If treated with appropriate antibiotics in the early stages of the disease, you are likely to recover completely. In later stages, response to treatment may be slower, but the majority of people with Lyme disease recover completely with appropriate treatment.   

Actions you can take to protect yourself:  
• Wear light colored clothing with a tight weave to spot ticks easily  
• Wear long sleeved shirts and long pants outdoors  
• Tuck your pant leg into your socks and tuck shirt into your pants  
• Check clothes and exposed skin frequently while outdoors  
• Keep long hair tied back, especially when gardening  
• Bathe or shower and do a full body check for ticks after going inside for the day and remove ticks promptly  
• Consider using EPA approved insect repellant



West Nile Virus 
Mosquitoes usually are considered a nuisance pest, but occasionally they can transmit viruses to people and some animals. These viruses can cause illness and even death. 

West Nile Virus is a mosquito-born virus that can cause encephalitis (inflammation of the brain) or meningitis (inflammation of the lining of the brain and spinal cord). West Nile Virus is transmitted to humans by the bite of an infected mosquito. Mosquitoes become infected after biting a bird that carries the virus. Birds are the primary reservoir host for West Nile Virus. 

Fulton County Public Health submits birds to the Wildlife Pathology Lab for testing to confirm West Nile Virus. This will ensure monitoring of the spread of the disease and risk to humans. The Public Health Program Assistant and the Public Community Health Worker perform Mosquito identification and monitoring. BTI briquettes (a biological larval control) are placed in municipal storm drains that have standing water to reduce the risk of disease.