CDC: Sickness from bug bites is spreading rapidly

NEW YORK — The Centers for Disease Control is sounding the alarm over a new report that finds the number of people getting sick from bug bites is spreading rapidly.

Infections from mosquitoes, ticks and fleas have more than tripled since 2004 and at least nine diseases have been reported for the first time in the U.S.

“Warmer temperatures can lead to a longer breeding season. And that can allow things like ticks and mosquitoes to spread geographically,” said Dr. John Lapook. “Also the world is getting smaller and smaller, there’s so much travel.”

The 16 diseases tracked by the CDC include well-known diseases like Lyme and Zika — which have seen a dramatic rise since 2004. Lyme disease alone accounts for 63 percent of the illnesses tracked with cases doubling to about 36,000 a year.

The CDC says because of under-reporting the real number is likely closer to 300,000.

“This is something that so many of us worry about, especially with our kids running around outside.”

Diseases carried by mosquitoes – like dengue and chikungunya – also saw sharp spikes.