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Health officials say tick-borne diseases rising

ST. PAUL, Minn. (AP) — Minnesota health officials urged residents to protect themselves against ticks after the number of tick-borne diseases rose to record levels in 2010.

The Minnesota Department of Health said Friday there was a significant increase in the number of anaplasmosis (an-ah-plas-MOH'-sis) cases last year.

State epidemiologist Dave Neitzel says anaplasmosis is rivaling Lyme disease in some areas of the state. In Aitkin, Beltrami, Carlton, Cass, Crow Wing and Hubbard counties, anaplasmosis cases exceeded Lyme disease cases in 2010.

The health department says about 30 percent of the anaplasmosis patients required hospitalization and one person died. Besides anaplasmosis and Lyme disease, the other common disease carried by the deer tick in Minnesota is babesiosis (bah-bee-see-OH'-sis). There were 720 cases of anaplasmosis last year, more than double previous years. Lyme disease cases totaled nearly 1,300 and there were 56 babesiosis cases.

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