State scientists: Infectious ticks on the rise

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NEW HAVEN -

State scientists say they're seeing more ticks and a higher rate of dangerous infections in them this year.

Officials at the Connecticut Agricultural Experiment Station in New Haven say they receive up to 200 ticks a day for testing. Lyme disease alone has seen a 10 percent increase.

Goudarz Molaei, a research scientist and director at the lab, says people should be "extremely careful" in areas where they may be exposed to ticks.

"They have to constantly tick check and examine themselves, their pets as well, and make sure they use repellents in order to protect themselves," he says. 

Sen. Richard Blumenthal Wednesday vowed to protect federal funding for researching tick-borne illnesses.

"The president's budget slashes funding into exactly the type of research that conquers Lyme (disease)," the Democratic senator said, taking aim at the nation's highest-profile Republican.

Sara Tyghter, who was infected with Lyme disease while already working for a Greenwich-based advocacy group that battled the illness, says she applauds any efforts to help people get treatment.

"It's better if we work closer together," she says.

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