In some cases, like preserving the “bedroom community” feel that much of the borough now has, we fight like heck to maintain the status quo. That’s important to us, too.
But there are, of course, certain areas where we don’t like being at the top of the heap. Having the longest commute times, for example, is a particularly onerous distinction. Another unwanted distinction – and quite a frightening one – is the fact that our borough has had the highest increase in Lyme Disease cases by far when expressed on a per capita basis.
Here are two charts that illustrate the extent of our Lyme Disease problem:
When expressed as the number of confirmed Lyme cases per 100,000 individuals, we again lead the way, sporting a 183% increase in the period covering 2005-2016. That is 173% more than the Bronx, 216% more than Manhattan (whose numbers decreased) and 59% more than the runner-up, Brooklyn.
It’s also worth noting that since Staten Island is the only borough with a permanent significant deer population, the likelihood is that many Lyme victims from the other boroughs contracted the disease through travel outside the city. That’s a lot less likely to be the case here on Staten Island.
It’s not too far a leap to conclude that there’s a direct correlation between our exploding deer population and the rise in confirmed Lyme Disease cases. Take a look at the chart below and it’s quite apparent; deer population has risen by 158% in the short period between the 2014 radar survey and the conclusion of the 2016/17 vasectomy program.
Prevention is at the top of the list.
Prevention starts with education and awareness, and that means reading this is not enough, you need to talk about it with friends, family, neighbors, pretty much anybody who spends much time outdoors. Wear the proper clothing. Use the proper sprays. Ask someone to help you perform an inspection when you get back indoors.
The effects of a long-term case of Lyme Disease is not annoyance, it is debilitation. Take it seriously; ignore it at your own peril.