Vital Signs: Climate change threatens health, report finds

Posted Aug. 21, 2014, at 10:36 a.m.

Maine confirmed a record number of Lyme disease cases last year, with more than 1,300 residents diagnosed with the illness. The ticks that carry Lyme also target wildlife, forcing the state to slash the number of moose-hunting permits by a quarter in response to crippling losses last winter.

Add mosquitoes to the mix — carriers of West Nile virus and Eastern Equine Encephalitis – and Maine’s outdoors have become decidedly less welcoming, according to a new national report that places the blame squarely on climate change. With shorter winters and hotter summers, harmful pests are growing in both number and geographic range, the report finds.

Report: Climate change threatens outdoor recreation, Mainers’ health

Other top health stories this week:

Bucksport family uses experience, Ice Bucket Challenge popularity to raise ALS awareness

The Klenowski family doesn’t like to spend much time thinking about their chances of developing Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis, also known as ALS or Lou Gehrig’s Disease. Instead, the possibility has given the family of four a cause and spurred them to live fully every day.

House speaker proposes $65 million bond to build senior housing, other measures to help older Mainers live at home

Mark Eves, a Democrat running for re-election in his North Berwick House district, said his “KeepME Home” initiative would include a package of bills to create energy-efficient apartments for seniors across the state, increase property tax relief for older adults and increase the Medicaid reimbursement rate for in-home care workers.

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Compiled by BDN Health Editor Jackie Farwell

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