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Health experts are warning that there may be increased danger of contracting Lyme disease this year from an unexpected source: mice.
Lyme disease is a bacterial infection spread by ticks that causes flu-like symptoms and a characteristic bull's-eye rash. It can also cause long-term symptoms for years.
Experts said the weather over the past couple of years has led to an increase in acorns, a favorite food of mice. That has led to an explosion in the mice population and a new way in which Lyme disease can make it into the home.
"We had a mild winter, so we had a lot more squirrels and mice this year," said Jesse Fraser of Critter Control. "Food equals population. Couple that with the mild winter that we had, and there's a higher population of animals."
Dr. Julia Greenspan, a Lyme disease specialist, said the ticks that transmit Lyme disease will latch onto mice. Mice can easily get into homes through holes as small as a quarter. Once inside, the ticks may drop off and latch onto people inside, potentially spreading the disease.
"They are referred to as deer ticks, and deer get a bad rap," Greenspan said. "It's the white-footed mouse that's the biggest problem with carrying Lyme disease."
Medical experts said that if you have a tick bite, save the tick and take it to a health care professional for testing to determine whether it's carrying Lyme disease.
Credits: By WMUR Mobile 9