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More ticks found to be carrying Lyme disease in Wisconsin

EAU CLAIRE, WI (WTAQ) - The numbers of deer ticks that carry Lyme disease have been growing in Wisconsin. 

A recent U-W Eau Claire study showed that 35-percent of female deer ticks examined in 21 counties over the past three years tested positive for the Lyme bacteria.  Just over 340 adult female ticks were studied from 21 counties. 

Diep Hoang Johnson of the state Health Services Department says climate change might be responsible for part of the increase.  She also blames people for building new country homes in areas where deer ticks thrive. 

In August, the U.S. Centers for Disease Control said the numbers of people with Lyme disease were vastly under-reported.  They said the 30-thousand reported Lyme cases each year were more like 300-thousand -- and tick-heavy places like Wisconsin have the highest rates of under-reporting.  

Wisconsin was among the first places where Lyme was discovered. 

The Marshfield Clinic's Medical Research Foundation has done numerous studies of the tick-borne Lyme.