Nov 14, 2018

Tickborne diseases are rising, but the U.S. isn't ready

Photo: Patrick Pleul/picture alliance via Getty Images

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention released new data reporting a record number of cases of tickborne diseases, increasing from 48,610 in 2016 to 59,349 cases in 2017.

Why it matters: All types of tickborne diseases rose, including Lyme disease, Rocky Mountain spotted fever and Powassan virus disease. But, the U.S. is not prepared to control the growing threat posed by ticks, mosquitos and fleas because 84% of local vector control organizations lack at least one critical capacity, per an earlier CDC report.

The exact reason for the rise in diseases is unclear to this point. Tick numbers vary from year to year, depending on variables like rainfall, humidity, temperature and host populations. Plus, the number of reported illnesses is also likely larger than what is reported, according to the CDC, since underreporting these disease is common.

What's next, per CDC: The country must develop better techniques to control tick populations and prevent the spread of the diseases. The country needs to improve upon surveillance, diagnostics, reporting and vector control. The development of new vaccines also may also help.

Go deeper: Illnesses from ticks and mosquitos tripled over 13 years

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Bernie Sanders wins Nevada caucus

Democratic presidential candidate Sen. Bernie Sanders waves to supporters at a campaign rally on Friday in Las Vegas. Photo: Mario Tama/Getty Images

Sen. Bernie Sanders is projected to handily win the Nevada Democratic primary caucus, becoming the clear frontrunner among 2020 Democratic presidential primary election candidates.

Why it matters: Nevada is the first state with a diverse population to hold a nominating contest, highlighting candidates' abilities to connect with voters of color — particularly Latino voters.

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South Korea and Italy see spikes in coronavirus cases

Data: The Center for Systems Science and Engineering at Johns Hopkins, the CDC, and China's Health Ministry. Note: China numbers are for the mainland only and U.S. numbers include repatriated citizens.

The novel coronavirus has spread to more nations, and the U.S. reports a doubling of its confirmed cases to 34 — while noting these are mostly due to repatriated citizens, emphasizing there's no "community spread" yet in the United States.

The big picture: COVID-19 has now killed at least 2,362 people and infected more than 77,000 others, mostly in mainland China. New countries to announce infections recently include Israel and Lebanon, while Iran reported its sixth death from the virus. South Korea's confirmed cases jumped from 204 Friday to 433 on Saturday and Italy's case count rose from 3 to 62 by Saturday.

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America's rundown roads add to farmers' struggles

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

American farmers are struggling to safely use the roads that cut through their fields; decades of neglect and lack of funding have made the routes dangerous.

The big picture: President Trump has long promised to invest billions in rural infrastructure, and his latest proposal would allocate $1 trillion for such projects. Rural America, where many of Trump's supporters live, would see a large chunk of that money.