The Tick App

April 22nd, Earth day, The Tick App – 2019 will be available in GooglePlay and iTunes!

Who are we? 

This study is conducted by researchers from Columbia University and the University of Wisconsin – Madison, members of the CDC Regional Centers for Excellence in Vector-Borne diseases. Funding for this study is provided by the Centers for Disease Control.

What is the study about?

In two words, Lyme disease. Lyme disease can be transmitted to humans after a tick bite. This study is designed to help us understand more about how  people’s practices and activities impact their exposure to ticks. This research is being done because Lyme disease is the most common vector-borne disease (infections transmitted by the bite of infected arthropod species, such as mosquitoes, ticks, sandflies, etc) in the United States. The information provided will help us design integrated control strategies to prevent diseases transmitted by ticks.

Why is my participation important and how is the app useful to me?

If you live in a high-risk area, sharing your experience and perspective with us will help us learn about the risk factors for tick borne disease and design better methods that prevent tick bites and tick-borne disease. We really appreciate your input!

We are also including information that will help you identify the different tick species, ways to prevent tick exposure and other information that will help you understand more about ticks and the diseases they transmit.

How can you help us?

Once you download the app and register for an account, you will be asked to take one enrollment survey that will help us capture your baseline risk of exposure to ticks.

You will then receive a weekly to monthly message to start your tick diary during the high risk months (May to September). The tick diary, or activity report, should take less than a minute to complete. It asks if you or a household member encountered a tick and what you did that day. When you start the tick diary, you will receive a daily reminder until you complete 15 reports.

Also, you can help us by reporting any tick through a quick form built in the app.

If I don’t want to use the app, how can I participate?

You can sign-up in our website and the surveys will be sent to your email. The informational material can also be found in this website

 

West Nile Virus Update

West Nile Virus (WNV)

 

As of today, 9/17/2018, ODH is reporting 23 human West Nile virus (WNV) cases, including 2 fatalities, and 6 asymptomatic WNV viremic blood donors in Ohio.  Additionally, 17 equine cases have been reported from 11 counties.  WNV activity in mosquitoes remains high at this time and virus activity has been reported from 64 Ohio counties so far this year.  The graph below shows where we are this year with infection rates in mosquitoes compared to 2012, a high WNV activity year (red dashed line), and 2016, a relatively normal WNV activity year (green dotted line):

La Crosse Virus (LAC)

 

ODH is also reporting 17 La Crosse (LAC) virus cases and 2 unspecified California virus cases.  Cases include 12 females and 7 males, ages 3-17, from 13 Ohio counties.  The rainfall we’ve had this summer has continuously filled tree holes and containers with water, creating ideal conditions for tree hole mosquitoes (vectors of LAC virus) to breed.  For more information about LAC and other arbovirus cases and surveillance data in Ohio, see the current Ohio arbovirus surveillance update at http://www.odh.ohio.gov/arboupdate.

Surveillance season is beginning to wind down, but with continued warm temperatures and active infected mosquitoes, the risk of new infections will continue until we have a hard freeze.  In fact, we have several suspect cases under investigation and we continue to receive new reports each week.  With this in mind, please continue your community and public education efforts focusing on personal protection and source reduction.  For more information, please check out our website at ohio.gov/mosquito or you can call the Zoonotic Disease Program (ZDP) at (614) 752-1029.

A New Tick Species Found in the United States

You probably have heard about this new tick invasive in the U.S. First detected in late 2017 in NJ. Recent reports are that it is spreading rapidly. See news clips as below:

“For the first time in 50 years, a new tick species has arrived in the United States — one that in its Asian home range carries fearsome diseases.

The Asian long-horned tick, Haemaphysalis longicornis, is spreading rapidly along the Eastern Seaboard. It has been found in seven states and in the heavily populated suburbs of New York City.

For now, the new arrivals are considered a greater threat to livestock.

Known in Australia as bush ticks and in New Zealand as cattle ticks, long-horned ticks can multiply rapidly and suck so much blood from a young animal that it dies.

The longhorn tick is known to carry several diseases that infect hogs and cattle in Asia. So far, ticks examined in the U.S. do not carry any diseases that can infect humans, but the USDA says the insects frequently form large infestations that cause great stress on warm-blooded host animals, reducing its growth and production. A severe infestation can kill the animal due to blood loss.

 

Officials said female longhorn ticks reproduce asexually and a single tick can reproduce and lay 2,000 eggs after feeding on a host. Cattle, pets, small mammals, birds and humans are all potential hosts.

 

In 2017, officials discovered the first longhorn tick population in the United States feeding on large numbers of sheep in Mercer County, New Jersey. It has also been found in Arkansas, New York, West Virginia and Virginia. Tests by the National Veterinary Services Laboratory in Ames, Iowa, have confirmed the presence of an Asian — or longhorn — tick on a wild deer in Centre County on Tuesday. It is the first confirmed sighting of the parasite in Pennsylvania.”

https://www.businessinsider.com/ticks-from-asia-that-self-clone-found-in-us-2018-2

https://www.techtimes.com/articles/227497/20180513/new-exotic-tick-species-is-spreading-in-the-us.htm

http://www.dailyitem.com/news/new-tick-species-found-in-pennsylvania/article_aed805f0-9657-11e8-ac16-4397609178cb.html

East Asian Tick Discovered in New Jersey

(TRENTON) – New Jersey Secretary of Agriculture Douglas H. Fisher today announced the United States Department of Agriculture’s National Veterinary Services Laboratory (NVSL) in Ames, Iowa has confirmed the finding of an exotic East Asian tick, also known as the longhorned tick or bush tick, on a farm in Hunterdon County on November 9. Initial identification was made by the Monmouth County Tick-borne Diseases Lab, located at Rutgers University and the Hunterdon County Division of Health. This tick is not known to be present in the U.S., although there are records of at least a dozen previous collections of this species in the country on animals and materials presented for entry at U.S. ports.

Click to read full article at NJ.Gov

Photo Credit: NJ.Gov

Update on Lyme Disease Surveillance 2008-2015

Courtesy of the CDC  Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report Nov 10th, 2017

Amy M. Schwartz, MPH1; Alison F. Hinckley, PhD1; Paul S. Mead, MD1; Sarah A. Hook, MA1; Kiersten J. Kugeler, PhD1 (View author affiliations)

Abstract

Problem/Condition: Lyme disease is the most commonly reported vectorborne disease in the United States but is geographically focal. The majority of Lyme disease cases occur in the Northeast, mid-Atlantic, and upper Midwest regions. Lyme disease can cause varied clinical manifestations, including erythema migrans, arthritis, facial palsy, and carditis. Lyme disease occurs most commonly among children and older adults, with a slight predominance among males.

Reporting Period: 2008–2015.

Click HERE for full article

 

New Testing Protocols for Lyme Disease in Humans Being Tested

From Associated Press/CBS News August 17th, 2017

WASHINGTON — Diagnosing if a tick bite caused Lyme or another disease can be difficult but scientists are developing a new way to do it early — using a “signature” of molecules in patients’ blood.

It’s still highly experimental, but initial studies suggest the novel tool just might uncover early-stage Lyme disease more accurately than today’s standard test, researchers reported Wednesday. And it could tell the difference between two tick-borne diseases with nearly identical early symptoms.

“Think about it as looking at a fingerprint,” said microbiology professor John Belisle of Colorado State University, who helped lead the research.

Lyme disease is estimated to infect 300,000 people in the U.S. every year. Lyme-causing bacteria are spread by blacklegged ticks —also called deer ticks — primarily in the Northeast and Midwest, although their range is spreading. Lyme typically starts as a fever, fatigue and flu-like symptoms — often but not always with a hallmark bulls-eye rash — and people usually recover quickly with prompt antibiotics. But untreated, Lyme causes more serious complications, including swollen joints and arthritis, memory and concentration problems, even irregular heartbeat.

 

CLICK to read full article

New EPA Tools for Insect Repellents vs. Ticks and Mosquitos

The EPA has provided a couple new tools and graphics to assist the public in making an informed choice when picking an insect repellent to help prevent insect vectored diseases from mosquitos and ticks.

The first is a graphic that will appear on products that will show what insects it works against and how long until reapplication is needed called the Repellency Awareness Graphic:

The second is a selection tool where you enter your criteria on ingredients, time needs and potential insect exposure and it shows the products and ingredients available:

CLICK HERE for Insect Repellant Tool Link

Both of these should make it easier for the public to make informed choices about what works and what does not when protecting their family.

Powassan Virus Transmission Time

Transmission of Powassan Virus from infected ticks has been found to be much shorter in mice than for other tick vectored diseases.

Abstract: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/15381804#

Short report: duration of tick attachment required for transmission of powassan virus by deer ticks.

Abstract

Infected deer ticks (Ixodes scapularis) were allowed to attach to naive mice for variable lengths of time to determine the duration of tick attachment required for Powassan (POW) virus transmission to occur. Viral load in engorged larvae detaching from viremic mice and in resulting nymphs was also monitored. Ninety percent of larval ticks acquired POW virus from mice that had been intraperitoneally inoculated with 10(5) plaque-forming units (PFU). Engorged larvae contained approximately 10 PFU. Transstadial transmission efficiency was 22%, resulting in approximately 20% infection in nymphs that had fed as larvae on viremic mice. Titer increased approximately 100-fold during molting. Nymphal deer ticks efficiently transmitted POW virus to naive mice after as few as 15 minutes of attachment, suggesting that unlike Borrelia burgdorferi, Babesia microti, and Anaplasma phagocytophilum, no grace period exists between tick attachment and POW virus transmission.

Click here for link.