Study Shows Beaches Harbour Lyme-Carrying Ticks

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A recent study has revealed that Lyme-carrying ticks commonly associated with wooded areas are also suprisingly abundant in beaches.. Daniel Salkeld, a research scientist with Colorado State University, led the study to find out possible whereabouts of the ticks in North Carolina.

Daniel began his investigation by looking at coastal scrubs, redwood forests, and oak woodlands. The researcher decided to change the sites many people tend to look at and focused on the beaches. He was surprised to find ticks in the coastal areas where they are not likely to be found. The ticks were not crawling on the sand; they were found on the vegetation growing near the beaches.

Usually, western grey squirrels are the predominant source of tick infections, and these types of birds are not common in coastal areas, according to studies.

Researchers and experts who study Lyme disease told the Washington Post that most people link these ticks to wooded areas, such as New England. According to a journal of Applied and Environmental microbiology on Daniel’s research, these ticks are far much widespread.

In a separate interview with Washington Post, an ecologist and assistant professor at Willian and Mary college Matthias Leu associated Lyme disease spread with warm weather.

Adverse effects of Lyme-disease

According to the Centre for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), Lyme disease is the most common vector-borne disease in the U.S. The disease is transmitted through the bite of infected black-legged ticks. Although it is unknown how many people are diagnosed with Lyme disease annually, the CDC estimates nearly 480,000. 

Chronic Lyme disease is associated with many adverse health effects, such as pain and swelling of joints, respiratory infections, sore throats, tremors, and many others. Additionally, tick bites also cause allergic reactions to red meat in some people.

Solution

Daniel Salkeld acknowledged it’s not yet clear which animal is infecting ticks in coastal areas. According to this research, the more researchers looked, the more they found infected ticks everywhere. 

Eva Sapi, a University of Heaven Professor, said Salkeld’s study is “very eye opening” and suggested that there should be more tick research. “Let’s go to more beaches and other places where we think there wouldn’t be ticks and I bet we’ll find them,” said Sappy, who was not part of Salkeld’s research.

Sappy also believes that the research can help spread awareness that will enlighten people to check for ticks in areas other than the woods. Additionally, the research can help physicians and diagnosticians in treating patients bitten by ticks.

Linda Giampa, an executive director of the Bay Area Lyme Foundation, suggested that when people come from home, they should put all the clothes they wore in a drier for 20 minutes to kill the ticks. They should then check for ticks on their bodies since they latch on the underarms, head, back of knees, and groin areas.

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