Tag Archives: FoxNews.com

Lyme disease rates rise in northern US

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Ugly Ass Deer Tick
Ugly Ass Deer Tick

By Karen Rowan Published April 17, 2013 MyHealthNewsDaily

Lyme disease is shifting northward within the U.S., with cases in northern states on the rise while cases in southern states decline, a new study says.

Between 1992 and 2007, there were significant increases in Lyme disease rates in 21 states, while 14 states showed a significant decrease, and 15 states showed no significant change, according to the study.

Most of the states that showed increases in the tick-borne disease were northern states, including most states in New England, along with Virginia, Ohio, and Pennsylvania, and states across the northern Midwest, including Michigan, Illinois, Wisconsin, Minnesota and North Dakota.

States that showed decreases in Lyme disease rates over the study period were mainly in the Southeast, such as Georgia, Louisiana, Mississippi, Tennessee and Kentucky, but drops were also seen in California, Oregon and Wyoming.

“Our findings are consistent with the hypothesis that increases in Lyme disease incidence in recent decades are attributable at least in part to the effects of climate change,” the researchers wrote.
Studies have suggested that warming temperatures at northerly latitudes allow the Ixodes ticks, which carry the bacteria that cause Lyme disease, to migrate northward. Meanwhile, rates of the disease may be decreasing in southern states as warmer temperatures there allow an expansion of lizard populations from farther south. Lizards are “dead-end hosts” of the Lyme disease bacteria, meaning they do not transmit the disease to humans.

Lyme disease is also being reported in parts of Canada previously thought to be too cold for the ticks, the study said read more…

Lawmakers question ‘risky’ $5.5B loan for high-speed Vegas train amid sequester cutbacks

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High-speed Vegas train
High-speed Vegas train

By Barnini Chakraborty Published March 13, 2013 FoxNews.com

While the Transportation Department warns that the sequester will lead to cutbacks causing snarled lines at airports across America, the agency is still considering a massive $5.5 billion government gamble on a high-speed train from suburban California to Vegas.

The total cost of the XpressWest project is $6.9 billion, with 80 percent potentially being fronted by the federal government. It would create a train that runs from Victorville, Calif., to Las Vegas and, if green-lighted, would be the largest loan of its type issued in America.

But there are severe roadblocks, which skeptical lawmakers are once again drawing attention to at a time when the government is supposed to be looking for savings.

“We are deeply troubled by the prospects of subsidizing another costly, wasteful and risky high-speed rail project, particularly when our nation is facing a debt crisis that threatens the well-being of the current and future generations of Americans,” Sen. Jeff Sessions, R-Ala., and House Budget Committee Chairman Rep. Paul Ryan, R-Wis., wrote in a letter to Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood on March 6.

The so-called train-of-the-future’s success depends on sunny ridership projections, which would be four times the ridership of Amtrak’s Northeast Corridor Acela, says Heritage Foundation visiting fellow Wendell Cox. The chances of that ridership being achieved aren’t likely. Last year, Amtrak clocked its best year ever with more than 11.4 million passengers on that route. Read more…