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Cancer Answers is hosted by Dr. Anees Chagpar, Associate Professor of Surgical Oncology and Director of The Breast Center at Smilow Cancer Hospital at Yale-New Haven Hospital, and Dr. Francine Foss, Professor of Medical Oncology. The show features a guest cancer specialist who will share the most recent advances in cancer therapy and respond to listeners questions. Myths, facts and advances in cancer diagnosis and treatment are discussed, with a different focus eachweek. Nationally acclaimed specialists in various types of cancer research, diagnosis, and treatment discuss common misconceptions about the disease and respond to questions from the community.Listeners can submit questions to be answered on the program at canceranswers@yale.edu or by leaving a message at (888) 234-4YCC. As a resource, archived programs from 2006 through the present are available in both audio and written versions on the Yale Cancer Center website.

CDC Warns Of New Tick-Borne Threat This Summer In The Northeast

Scott Bauer
Wikimedia Commons

With warmer weather also comes the potential for insect and tick-borne illnesses. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, diseases transmitted by fleas, ticks, and mosquitoes have tripled in just 13 years.

One virus, Powassan, or POW has seen a resurgence recently, according to Dr. Durland Fish, Professor Emeritus of Epidemiology at the Yale School of Public Health. Symptoms of Powassan infection include fever, headache, vomiting, weakness, confusion, and seizures.

The CDC reports only about 100 cases of POW in the U.S. in the last 10 years, but speaking on Connecticut Public Radio's Where We Live, Fish said there is a good reason why POW could be an issue for the Northeast this summer.

“It's recently become more prevalent because the deer tick, which transmits Lyme disease, is now transmitting this Powassan virus, and we hadn't seen this before, that's a recent event,” he said.

Fish said when it comes to insect and tick-borne viruses, prevention is the key. That’s why he’s frustrated that for decades, national policy aimed at preventing such diseases has focused on a medical response rather than an environmental one.

“These ticks and mosquitoes occur out in the wild, and that's where the research needs to be done to try and be able to manage these insects in an intelligent and environmentally compatible way,” said Fish.

He said the best way to protect yourself from things like Lyme disease is to wear long sleeved shirts and pants, and to apply an EPA registered insect repellent before going outdoors.

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