Olean Residents And Visitors Cautioned

Ticks carrying disease found in Gargoyle Park

By Rick Miller
Olean Times Herald

ALLEGANY – Deer ticks carrying Lyme disease have been detected in Gargoyle Park, prompting Cattaraugus County health officials to mount a public-awareness campaign.

Gargoyle Park In Olean NYEric Wohlers, director of the Cattaraugus County Health Department’s Environmental Health Unit, told members of the Board of Health on Wednesday the ticks were discovered after dragging nets through the park in 2008.

Previously, the deer ticks that carry the bacteria that causes Lyme disease were not believed to be in this area.

When local doctors saw a patient with symptoms of the disease including the classic “bull’s-eye” rash, they generally asked whether they had been recently traveling in areas known to have the deer ticks with Lyme disease.

“They always presumed they (patients) had been exposed elsewhere,” he said. “It’s possible that deer ticks in our area could have this bacteria and transmitted Lyme disease to humans.”

Mr. Wohlers said the county’s health department was notified of the discovery of two deer ticks by the state Department of Health last year. Nets were dragged in Gargoyle Park again last year, but those results have not been released. Two of 98 ticks collected were deer ticks. The samples collected in 2009 have not been analyzed. Read more

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