ticks

The Pulse
12:10 pm
Tue October 22, 2013

Ticknado: Coming To A Yard Near You

Sharknado? For wimps. Ticknado? Run for cover!

But it's no laughing matter, says Tom Mather, resident tick expert at the University of Rhode Island. Fall means the return of disease-carrying deer ticks for a bit before the coldest temperatures finally send them underground. And that means there's still a risk of catching Lyme and other tick-borne diseases.

Health Care
4:57 pm
Mon October 21, 2013

Block Island Asks State For Help Combatting Lyme

Female deer ticks, satiated after a blood meal, in test tubes in Yale University's tick lab.
Credit Kristin Gourlay / RIPR

Block Island Health Service officials say the state Department of Health has agreed to meet with them about the steep increase in Lyme disease on the island. Island officials want the state to take a more active role in fighting the disease.

Block Island Health Services officials say they’ve seen 68 cases of Lyme disease through August of this year. That’s up from 48 for all of the previous year. Health service head Barbara Baldwin says she decided it was time to ask for some help.

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The Pulse
5:23 pm
Mon July 8, 2013

When Summer Makes You Sick

Or, rather, summer activities, like swimming, or hiking through the woods.

To wit:

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Health Care
3:52 pm
Tue January 22, 2013

New tick-borne disease causes recurring fever, flu

Deer ticks in test tubes, full after a blood meal.
Credit Kristin Gourlay / RIPR

There’s a new tick-borne disease in town.

It’s like Lyme disease and has recently been spotted in the Northeastern United States, as well as in a few parts of the Upper Midwest.

The bacteria that causes this new disease is called Borrelia miyamotoi, and, like Lyme, it hitches a ride in ticks. It can cause something like the flu, or a fever that just keeps coming back. Scientists first identified it in Japan. But a couple of years ago, Yale researchers discovered it in deer ticks in New England.

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Health Care
6:12 pm
Fri January 18, 2013

New tick-borne disease discovered in New England

Tick larvae in a vial.
Credit Photo by: KRISTIN GOURLAY

The bacteria is called Borrelia miyamotoi, and, like Lyme disease, it hitches a ride in ticks. I'll have more on this in the coming days, but here's a heads up on some of the more unique features of this bug.

This bacteria can cause something like the flu, or a fever that just keeps coming back. You might have had it and not known it, or had it along side Lyme. Common antibiotics can cure it. But if your immune system is already weak, it could lead to some neurological damage.

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The Pulse
12:00 am
Thu July 19, 2012

West Nile in RI and the Rise of Vector-borne Disease

The RI Department of Environmental Management says in a statement today that a weekly sampling of mosquitoes collected from a swamp in Westerly tested positive for West Nile virus. That doesn’t necessarily mean you have to hermetically seal yourself, your kids, and your pets inside until the first frost. But the presence of West Nile and other diseases transmitted by so-called “vectors” like mosquitoes and ticks in our area should mean you take a few precautions before venturing into the great outdoors.

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