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Risk of tick-borne disease remains high

ST. PAUL, Minn. (AP) -- Minnesota health officials say the risk of contracting a tick-borne disease remains high, despite the harsh winter that we've endured.

The heavy snowfall across Minnesota actually helped disease-carrying ticks survive because they were insulated from frigid temperatures.

Department of Health tick specialist David Neitzel says field study locations in central and southeastern Minnesota show a healthy population of deer ticks. The highest risk for exposure to ticks is typically from mid-May through mid-July.

A record 1,431 Lyme disease cases were reported in Minnesota last year. Neitzel says health officials expect that tick-transmitted disease risk will be high again this year. Higher risk areas include wooded or brush habitats in southeastern, central and north central Minnesota.

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