Babesiosis Information from UNCAS Health District

    Tick-borne illness cases in the United States are up 25% since 2011,
    according to a new report from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention,
    including a rare disease now spreading in the U.S. Northeast. The CDC says cases of babesiosis, which can cause illness ranging from asymptomatic to severe, have increased significantly in Connecticut, Maine, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New York, Rhode Island and Vermont. The disease is already considered endemic in Connecticut, Massachusetts, Minnesota, New Jersey, New York, Rhode Island and Wisconsin.

    The tick-borne disease, which is growing cases but still rare, is transmitted
    from the bites of black-legged ticks.

    Babesiosis infections can be asymptomatic or cause mild to severe illnesses
    that can be fatal. Symptoms, which can last for several weeks, typically show up
    between one and four weeks after a bite. The most common symptoms include
    fever, chills, sweating, fatigue, and myalgias. They also include hepatosplenomegaly, or an enlarged liver and hemolytic anemia, a disorder that
    causes red blood cells to be destroyed faster than they can be created.

    Yale scientists Goudarz Molaei told WTNH one of the factors that could be
    causing the increase in tick-borne diseases could be shorter winters.
    “Understandably because of climate change and other environmental conditions we are seeing increases in tick abundance and tick activity.” Molaei said.

    The CDC states on its website: “Because warmer average temperatures can
    mean longer warm seasons, earlier spring seasons, shorter and milder winters, and hotter summers, conditions might become more hospitable for many carriers of vector-borne diseases.”

    Molaei said that, in Connecticut, for example, one in two ticks on average is
    infected with at least one disease agent. “We have to be aware of the areas that
    might be infested with ticks, so wooded areas, tall grass areas, try to avoid those
    areas at any cost,” he said. Molaei says if you have no other choice, you’ll have to consistently perform a tick check on yourself and your pets, as they can often
    bring home ticks with them.

    The CDC is urging anyone spending extended time outdoors to use tick
    repellents and wear long sleeve shirts and pants if they can.

    If you are bitten by a tick, the CDC recommends the following:
    *Use fine-tipped tweezers to grasp the tick as close to the skin as you can.
    *Pull upward with steady, even pressure. Don’t twist or jerk the tick.
    *After removing the tick, clean the bite area and your hands with rubbing alcohol
    or soap and water.
    *Dispose of the tick by flushing it down the toilet. If you would like to bring the
    tick to your healthcare provider for identification, put it in rubbing alcohol or place
    it in a sealed bag/container.

    Renters Rebate Program

    April 1st is the first day that applications for the Renters Rebate Program will begin to be processed.

    Participants in the program just have been 65 years of age by the end of the
    calendar year preceding the filing period; or be 50 years of age or older and the
    surviving spouse of a renter, who at the time of his/her death, had qualified and
    was entitled to tax relief at the time of his/her death. Applicants filed under the
    disability provision must be accompanied by current proof of disability. The
    Claimant must have been a resident in Connecticut for a one-year period of time prior to filing an application.

    Qualifying income guidelines for the calendar year 2022 must not exceed
    $40,300.00 if unmarried, or $49,100.00 if married or other. For married couples or other, unless legally separated, income from both husband and wife must be counted in establishing qualifying income, regardless of living arrangements. Qualifying income is considered wages, bonuses, commissions, gratuities and fees; self-employment net income; gross Social Security benefits, Federal Supplemental Security income, dividends, interest, annuities; IRA distributions, Black Lung payments; Green Thumb payments; interest resulting from gifts received; Lottery winnings; net rental income, pensions, Railroad Retirement; severance pay, Unemployment Compensation, Workers Compensation, Alimony, etc.

    The applicant must provide proof of rent and utilities payments during the
    2022 calendar year.

    Individuals interested in making application for the Renters Rebate of
    Elderly and Totally Disabled Program are requested to contact the Senior Affairs Office at 860-887-5581 ext. 6. When leaving a message, please include your name and telephone number. The application filing period is April 1st through October 1st.

    President’s Day Closure

    The senior center will be closed on Monday, February 20th for President’s Day