WOODBURY, N.Y. (AP) — U.S. Sen. Charles Schumer says New York communities girding for a jump in tick-borne diseases as the weather warms up need federal funding to combat the problem now rather than later.

The Senate minority leader appeared Wednesday on Long Island and in Rockland County to urge the Centers for Disease Control to unlock millions in additional funding included in the recently passed federal budget.

Schumer says Long Island and the lower Hudson Valley are epicenters of diseases caused by deer ticks and public health officials in those areas need money as soon as possible to improve prevention efforts.

The CDC says ticks are responsible for about 50,000 reported illnesses annually in recent years, most of them Lyme disease.

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