University News for October 21, 2011
An entomologist with the University of Manitoba reports the established range of the blacklegged tick appears to be expanding in Manitoba.
An annual blacklegged tick surveillance program, conducted by University of Manitoba in partnership with Manitoba Health and Health Canada, shows tick populations have become established in areas in southeastern Manitoba and across the south.
Dr. Terry Galloway, an entomology professor with the University of Manitoba, says this tick is of concern because of its ability transmit to pathogens, such as the bacteria that causes Lyme disease, and the largest number of submissions come in in October.
Clip-Dr. Terry Galloway-University of Manitoba:
The surveillance program has been extremely useful over the years in at least giving us some summary information about potential risk for people in that the tick is very very widely distributed, has that potential.
It could be almost anywhere in southern Manitoba.
Therefore it is possible for a person to be exposed to the tick and the pathogen over this wide range.
The probability is not high that a person is first of all going to come in contact with the tick or that second of all that they'll be infected but it certainly is a possibility and that when people present symptoms, when they visit their physician, physicians should definitely be considering these diseases as a possibility in Manitoba.
In the more recent years ome of the multiple submissions that we've been getting from people where people find several ticks from one location or find several ticks over an extended period of time, those send up a flag and identify areas where field work is warranted and additional work is done where we go out and flag for ticks.
We drag a cloth through the habitat and try to pick up ticks that way and there may even be some small mammal trapping.
You just have to identify the presence of the juvenile ticks which is evidence of a reproducing or an established population in a particular area.
Dr. Galloway says the surveillance program has been very successful thanks to the cooperation of the public, veterinarians, public health officials and doctors.
For UniversityNews.Org, I'm Bruce Cochrane.
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