This paper discusses eleven tick-borne and five mosquito-borne pathogens that are known to occur at FIlS, or could potentially occur. The potential for future occurrence, and ecological factors that influence occurrence, are assessed for each disease. Lyme disease is the most common vector-borne disease on Fire Island. The Lyme spirochete, Borrelia burgdorferi, is endemic in local tick and wildlife populations. Public education, personal precautions against tick bite, and prompt treatment of early-stage infections can help manage the risk of Lyme disease on Fire Island. The pathogens that cause Human Monocytic Ehrlichiosis and Tularemia have been isolated from ticks or wildlife on Fire Island, and conditions suggest that other tickborne diseases (including Babesiosis, Rocky Mountain Spotted Fever, and Human Granulocytic Ehrlichiosis) might also occur, but these are far less common than Lyme disease, if present. West Nile Virus (WNV) is the primary mosquito- borne human pathogen that is known to occur on Fire Island. Ecological conditions and recent epizootiological events suggest that WNV occurs in foci that can shift from year to year. Therefore, a surveillance program with appropriate responses to increasing epizootic activity can help manage the risk of WNV transmission on Fire Island.
Additional publication details
Federal Government Series
Vector-borne diseases on Fire Island, New York (Fire Island National Seashore Science Synthesis Paper)