Black-legged deer ticks like this one can carry Lyme disease. (Courtesy image)
Black-legged deer ticks like this one can carry Lyme disease. (Courtesy image)
As the weather warms up, more people will be spending time outdoors, including time in grassy and wooded areas. Also more active during this time will be ticks, some carrying Lyme disease.

Incidents of Lyme disease have come earlier this year across the nation due to warming weather. According to a study published last May by the Indiana University Environmental Resilience Institute, more ticks carrying Lyme disease have been found in southern and central Indiana than was previously thought.

Last year, the institute started a program called Project Vector Shield, which collects and studies ticks and other insects to measure the prevalence of diseases.

"Changes in climate, temperature and weather conditions, as well as human activities such as international travel, all contribute to the movement of disease vectors into a new region," biology professor Keith Clay, a leader on Project Vector Shield, said in a release published by IU last year.

Dr. Mark Munroe of IU Health Southern Indiana Physicians said Lyme disease cases haven't hit his clinic so far this year.

"We haven't seen a lot here yet. People wander in at different times, but the ticks are going to start dropping soon on people."

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