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: Case Update

As of 8/20,2018, ODH is reporting 5 human West Nile virus (WNV) cases, including 1 fatality, and 2 asymptomatic WNV viremic blood donors in Ohio.  Additionally, ODH received a report today from the Ohio Department of Agriculture of an equine case in an unvaccinated horse.  WNV activity in mosquitoes continues to rise and we have now seen indications of virus activity in 52 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 dotted line), and 2016, a relatively normal WNV activity year (green dashed line):

In addition to WNV, ODH is also reporting 6 LAC cases and 2 unspecified California virus cases.  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 arbovirus cases and surveillance data, see the current Ohio arbovirus surveillance update at http://www.odh.ohio.gov/arboupdate, updated earlier today.

There are quite a few weeks left in this  mosquito season and cases can occur into October, so it is very important to continue your community and public education efforts focusing on personal protection and source reduction. Also, please call the Zoonotic Disease Program (ZDP) at (614) 752-1029 if you have any questions.

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

West Nile Virus Activity Continues to Increase

West Nile virus activity continues to increase and the statewide mosquito infection rate as of week 27 (week of July 4) is trending with infection rates we saw in 2012, our last epidemic year when we recorded 122 human cases.  No human cases have been reported this year yet; however, 2 asymptomatic viremic blood donors were reported this past week, so there is evidence human infections have occurred. If you haven’t already, please be sure to increase your community and public education efforts focusing on personal protection and source reduction.

Here is a graph that shows where we are this year as of week 27 with infection rates in mosquitoes compared to 2012, an epidemic WNV year (blue line), and 2016, a relatively average WNV year (orange line):

For more information, see the current Ohio arbovirus surveillance update at http://www.odh.ohio.gov/arboupdate.  The data on this website was last updated on 7/16/18 and will be updated each Monday thru mosquito season. Please call the Zoonotic Disease Program (ZDP) at (614) 752-1029 if you have any questions.

Minimum Infection Rate: West Nile Virus

West Nile virus activity has been increasing, and it has now been detected in mosquitoes in 14 counties as of noon on 7/9/18.  Of the 4,832 pooled mosquito samples (141,835 mosquitoes total) tested so far, 110 samples have tested positive from Athens (1), Delaware (1), Franklin (43), Hamilton (1), Hancock (1), Licking (4), Lucas (25), Portage (12), Richland (3), Ross (1), Stark (1), Summit (15), Tuscarawas (1) and Wood (1) counties.  This is up from 26 positive samples reported in the last message.  No human cases have been reported so far.

Here is a graph that shows where we are this year as of week 25 with infection rates in mosquitoes compared to 2012, a high WNV activity year (blue line), and 2016, a relatively low WNV activity year (orange line):

 

For more information, see the current Ohio arbovirus surveillance update at http://www.odh.ohio.gov/arboupdate.  The data on this website was last updated on 7/9/18 and will be updated each Monday thru mosquito season.

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

 

West Nile Update 10/3/17

West Nile virus and other domestic arboviral activity — United States, 2017
Provisional data reported to ArboNET
Tuesday, October 3, 2017

 

West Nile virus (WNV) activity in 2017
As of October 3rd, 1,015 counties from 47 states and the District of Columbia have reported
WNV activity to ArboNET for 2017, including 45 states and the District of Columbia with
reported WNV human infections (i.e., disease cases or viremic blood donors) and two additional
states with reported WNV activity in non-human species only (i.e., veterinary cases, mosquito
pools, dead birds, or sentinel animals)

Click to read full article –> 2017-10-03 Arboviral activity update-1nll3ev

Courtesy of Arbonet