lyme disease

RIPR FILE

Rhode Island is in the midst of the most dangerous tick-season of the year. University of Rhode Island researchers say there are more of the insects this year than last year. The arachnids are most prevalent in May, but URI tick specialist Tom Mather, says mid-summer carries the highest risk.

“What we face now is a dangerous period, which is when nymphal-stage deer ticks are active, and these are ticks that are the size of poppy seeds, and they are loaded with pathogens,” said Mather.

Kristin Gourlay / RIPR

The Rhode Island Blood Center will lay off 60 people by this fall. That’s to help cover the cost of screening for a tick-borne disease that’s on the rise in Rhode Island: babesiosis.

Babesiosis  causes flu-like symptoms in some, but it can be life-threatening for the elderly or people with weak immune systems. It spreads through tick bites and blood transfusions. It's become the top transfusion-transmitted disease in the country, and it's endemic in Rhode Island.

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Town officials on Block Island are calling the recent deer hunting season a success. Local hunters took down more than 400 deer.

Block Island has a high incidence of Lyme disease, transmitted by the bite of a deer tick. So last year the town of New Shoreham and the Department of Environmental Management hired a professional sharpshooting company, Connecticut-based White Buffalo, Inc., to curb the island’s large deer population. But the project fell through.

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Deer-hunting on a state-owned parcel of land on Block Island opens today. Brian Tefft, a wildlife biologist with the Department of Environmental Management, said the deer hunting season has been underway on the island since early October, but…

  “This is a special lottery-only hunt for one parcel of state land located on Block Island in an effort to assist the town with the reduction of deer on the island,” Tefft said.

RIPR File Photo

The annual deer hunting season is gearing up on Block Island. Rhode Island Public Radio’s environmental reporter Ambar Espinoza tells us, the hunt on the Black Rock/Rodman Hollow parcel of land opens on Jan. 20.

The Department of Environmental Management’s Division of Fish and Wildlife will set up a deer checking station at the Block Island Police Station in preparation for next week. The hunting season opens Jan. 20 and lasts until Feb. 13. This deer checking station will be open on certain days during the season to check deer taken by hunters.

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