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Tick-borne ailments down in 2012, Health Department says

 The Minnesota Department of Health announced Monday that cases of tick-borne diseases decreased substantially in 2012, but the risk for illness still remains high this summer.

According to the Department of Health, an unusually warm, dry spring and summer may have contributed to the drop in cases of tick-borne diseases in 2012 in Minnesota. In 2012, there were 911 confirmed cases of Lyme disease, down from 1,201 in 2011 and the lowest number of confirmed cases since 2003. There were 503 cases of human anaplasmosis, down from 782 in 2011, and 40 cases of babesiosis, down from 72 in 2011.

State health officials said the highest risk period for tick-borne diseases will be the next few weeks, and that they are expecting the risk will be high again this year.