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Disease-carrying colonizers on the move: Predicting the spread of ticks across Canada
Date:3/5/2012

e the parasites were found.

Other studies have also been contributing to understanding the information in the database. "The data paint a useful picture of where and when ticks have begun colonizing different regions, identifying geographic hotspots," Leighton explained. "We visited field sites in these areas and very simply dragged blankets along the ground. Sure enough, we found significant tick populations in these areas." The findings were also confirmed by inspecting wild animals likely to carry the ticks.

Ticks themselves do not cause Lyme disease, but can pass on the infection when they bite. Lyme disease is treated with antibiotics and its symptoms include circular rashes and flu-like symptoms. Left untreated, it can have serious consequences but, say the researchers, people who visit the outdoors can protect themselves by wearing appropriate clothing or applying DEET-based insect repellents.

"This model provides us with an idea of where Lyme disease is likely to spread in the future, because the ticks eventually start to carry the bug that causes Lyme," Leighton said. "In the future it will be useful to build a model that reveals how quickly the disease will spread amongst these new tick populations."

The findings were published in the British Ecological Society's Journal of Applied Ecology on 6 March 2012.


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Contact: Becky Allen
beckyallen@ntlworld.com
44-122-357-0016
Wiley-Blackwell
Source:Eurekalert

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