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Tick season brings increased concerns about tick-borne diseases


Tick season has become a 12 month concern, according to Acadia University professor Nicoletta Faraone.

“As soon as the temperature rises above four degrees, ticks will be active,” said Faraone. “Technically, we can have ticks anytime of the year.”

If you ask Mount Allison University professor Vett Lloyd what worries her most, it’s the number of ticks carrying diseases.

“It is the very rapid increase we are seeing in the chance that a tick is infected with a pathogen and the variety of pathogens,” said Lloyd.

Donna Lugar knows this from personal experience.

“It is not just Lyme disease,” said Lugar who was diagnosed in 2011 with numerous tick borne diseases. Her symptoms were numerous. “Memory and pain. There are so many different things like digestive issues and heart issues.”

Lloyd says in this region, an alarming number of ticks are infected with the bacteria that causes Lyme disease.

“Nova Scotia is absolutely winning the Canadian contest for the percentage of ticks that are infected,” said Lloyd. “New Brunswick is close behind and PEI is doing its best to catch up.”

As for the species causing the most harm?

“The black-legged tick, which is also called the deer tick,” said Lloyd. “It is the smaller of the two ticks around here and somewhat irritatingly it doesn’t have black legs, it has brown legs.”

Lloyd has simple instructions for tick prevention and detection for humans and pets, especially dogs.

“For people, bug spray works as long as it’s fresh and it works for ticks,” said Lloyd. “For pets, we have lots of products, including edibles or stuff to put on the dog’s neck.”

Lloyd also said people should thoroughly check themselves for ticks after being outside. Top Stories

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